Novartis tries to make UK hospitals use $1000 drug

April 24, 2012

(AP) -- Drug maker Novartis says it is taking legal action in Britain to make hospitals use an eye drug that costs 700 pounds ($1,130) per shot instead of a cheaper one that costs 60 pounds ($97).

According to the U.K.'s health watchdog, Lucentis is the only drug recommended to treat the eye problem, macular degeneration.

However, the much cheaper Avastin, a cancer drug, is widely prescribed for macular degeneration, though it is not officially approved. Last year, four hospitals in southern England decided they would pay for Avastin when it was prescribed by a doctor.

Both drugs are made by Novartis.

In a statement Tuesday, Novartis said it was demanding a judicial review to make the hospitals use rather than .

Patient groups called for an independent appraisal to determine which drug should be used.

Explore further: FDA approves Regeneron's eye injection Eylea


Related Stories

FDA approves Regeneron's eye injection Eylea

November 19, 2011

(AP) -- Regulators on Friday approved Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s drug Eylea, an injection designed to treat a common cause of blindness in older people.

Recommended for you

Re-framing the placebo effect and informed consent

October 29, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Imagine that your doctor knows from evidence-based studies that if he tells you about certain, small side-effects to a particular drug, you are significantly more likely to experience that side effect than ...

Can exercise be replaced with a pill?

October 2, 2015

Everyone knows that exercise improves health, and ongoing research continues to uncover increasingly detailed information on its benefits for metabolism, circulation, and improved functioning of organs such as the heart, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.