Cheaper AMD drug could lead to serious eye issues

June 18, 2012

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.

Explore further: Novartis tries to make UK hospitals use $1000 drug

Related Stories

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).

Report shows risk of blindness halved over last decade

January 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

Simulations signal early success for fractal-based retinal implants

July 27, 2017
Computer simulations of electrical charges sent to retinal implants based on fractal geometry have University of Oregon researchers moving forward with their eyes focused on biological testing.

Scientists regenerate retinal cells in mice

July 26, 2017
Scientists have successfully regenerated cells in the retina of adult mice at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

Genome editing with CRISPR-Cas9 prevents angiogenesis of the retina

July 24, 2017
A research team from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear has successfully prevented mice from developing angiogenesis of the retina—the sensory tissue at the back of the eye—using gene-editing ...

Too little vitamin D may hinder recovery of injured corneas

July 24, 2017
Injury or disease in combination with too little vitamin D can be bad for the window to your eyes.

Combination of type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea indicates eyesight loss within four years

July 4, 2017
Research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered that patients who suffer from both Type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnoea are at greater risk of developing a condition that leads to blindness within an average ...

Nearly 60% of pinkeye patients receive antibiotic eye drops, but they're seldom necessary

June 28, 2017
A new study suggests that most people with acute conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, are getting the wrong treatment.

0 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.