Lucentis is 40 times more expensive than Avastin but the study finds no measurable increased benefit from prescribing Lucentis.
The American Opthalmological Society was noncommittal as the study is not complete. Lucentis has not been taken out of contention as preferential for patient's with age-related macular degeneration nor was Avastin assured a preferential status.
One caveat: Lucentis is already FDA-approved for treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration while Avastin is prescribed on an off-label basis.
"Ask your doctor if Avastin is better for age-related macular degeneration."
Dr. David M. Brown, retinal surgeon at The Methodist Hospital and overseer of this 2 year study, affirms that the off-label use of Avastin for wet AMD is exciting because it provides significant cost savings.
Brown looks forward to the second year of the Comparison of AMD Treatments Trials (CATT) study to assess whether the anatomic superiority of Lucentis seen in the first year will continue in longer term visual outcomes.
Genentech is the maker of both drugs. Avastin was created to prevent blood vessel growth that help cancerous tumors to create and flourish. The first year of this study indicates it is effective for wet AMD as well.
- NEI launched CATT in 2008 to compare Lucentis and Avastin for treatment of wet AMD
- 1,185 wet AMD patients treated at 43 clinical centers in the United States
- Study compared four different regimens randomly assigned
- Outcome measured visual acuity in each group