VA Medical Centers No Longer Using Avastin To Treat Eye Disease
Reuters is reporting the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is no longer treating eye disease with Avastin because of the potential effects of the drug. The drug Lucentis is generally used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, which is the #1 cause of blindness in elderly people.
Avastin is a drug traditionally used to treat cancer, and when prescribed “off label” for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, has essentially the same effects on patients, but for much less money.
The VA, however, will no longer use Avastin as part of an ophthalmologic treatment plan. The moratorium is temporary for now, as there is currently an ongoing investigation into Avastin’s side effects. In the meantime, VA doctors have been told to use “alternate therapies” when treating the debilitating eye disease.
Avastin was never tested to be used to treat eye disease. The government has been pushing doctors to use Avastin to treat age-related macular degeneration because of the substantial difference in cost between it and Lucentis. Using Avastin in such a way, however, may be more dangerous for the patient.
Cost should not be the only factor in choosing what drug to prescribe for specific treatments. Millions of veterans are treated every year in VA hospitals and clinics, and the one constant between every patient should be professional and dedicated, competent health care.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability representative from Disability Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today – 1-(800)-800-3332.