The economic implications of the use of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs in age-related macular degeneration

Azad, Rajvardhan; Chandra, Parijat; Gupta, Ritesh
November 2007
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology;Nov2007, Vol. 55 Issue 6, p441
Academic Journal
journal article
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the most common cause for visual impairment in the elderly in western countries. Recently several anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs like pegaptanib sodium (Macugen), ranibizumab (Lucentis) and bevacizumab (Avastin) are available for use in the management of wet ARMD. A major limitation of these drugs is that they require multiple intravitreal injections, every 4 to 6 weeks interval for a period of 2 years. Moreover, most of these drugs are too expensive for the general masses to afford in developing nations. Avastin, though used "off-label", offers a comparable result at affordable cost, however, long term results are awaited. The drug industry should review the entire pricing policy of these drugs in developing countries like India, and develop affordable alternative compounds. The article reviews the economic burden and affordability issues of these Anti-VEGF drugs in ARMD.


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