Cheaper AMD drug could lead to serious eye issues

A Queen's University study of two eye drugs used to treat wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) has determined the cheaper of the two could lead to eye inflammation, a potentially blinding adverse effect.

"This is a very important finding," says Sanjay Sharma ( and Epidemiology), a noted AMD and researcher who also practices at Hotel Dieu Hospital. "It is particularly important because many seniors need numerous injections so the risk is cumulative."

AMD is the leading cause of severe visual loss and in Canada. It is linked to depression, falls and higher rates of nursing home admissions.

The research reviewed cases of patients who received consecutive injections of either the more expensive or the cheaper version of the drug. Patients receiving the cheaper drug had a 12 times higher risk of serious eye inflammation and some patients also lost their sight, according to the study.

Many provincial governments are considering the use of the cheaper drug to help curb spiraling costs. The more expensive drug retails for $1,800 while the cheaper version is one-tenth of that price.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Novartis tries to make UK hospitals use $1000 drug

Apr 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).

Report shows risk of blindness halved over last decade

Jan 19, 2012

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause of blindness in the Western World. A report from the University of Copenhagen and Glostrup Hospital in Denmark published today shows the number of new cases ...

Recommended for you

Hygiene practices affect contact lens case contamination

Jan 28, 2015

Contact lens wearers who don't follow certain hygiene habits have increased bacterial contamination of their contact lens cases, reports a study in the February issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the ...

Team creates device to alleviate dry eye

Jan 26, 2015

A search for medical needs in eye clinics led Stanford Biodesign fellows to develop an implantable neurostimulator that painlessly increases natural tear production.

Scientists discover gene tied to profound vision loss

Jan 16, 2015

An exhaustive hereditary analysis of a large Louisiana family with vision issues has uncovered a new gene tied to an incurable eye disorder called retinitis pigmentosa, according to an examination led by ...

User comments

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.