Avastin

This is an injection medicine used to treat wet macular degeneration and sometimes used for other causes of macular edema such as diabetic retinopathy.  Avastin was originally developed for systemic use to treat colon cancer. However, its anti-VEGF properties are good at targeting abnormal retinal blood vessels and so it is commonly used in the eye as well. Avastin is a wonder drug, and compared to comparable injectables (Lucentis, Macugen, Eylea), it is extremely cheap. The reason behind this cost is that Avastin was originally packaged in much larger dosage for systemic delivery for the entire body. Compounding pharmacies can split this large dosage into increments more suitable for ocular injection and the cost comes down to about 50 dollars a treatment.  Compare this to medicines approved and marketed specifically for the eye which cost around $2,000 per treatment … it makes you wonder how pharmaceuticals get away with it, huh?

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Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:

2 COMMENTS

  1. Avastin is used constantly by retina doctors in the treatment of macular degeneration. This medication is injected directly into the eye in order to target the retina.

    Other injectable medications, such as Eylea, are on the market. These newer medications cost a bundle … but seem to be safer as far as systemic side effects.

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