NHS could save £84m using cheaper drug to prevent blindness, trial finds

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Researchers say Avastin is just as good as more-expensive Lucentis for treating wet age-related macular degenerationThe NHS could save more than £84m a year if it used a cheap, unlicensed drug to treat people in danger of going blind rather than the expensive one currently licensed and promoted by leading pharmaceutical companies for the purpose, a ground-breaking trial has shown.Researchers led by Prof Usha Chakravarthy from Queen’s University Belfast have finally provided an answer to the controversial question of whether the cancer drug Avastin can safely be used to treat people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness.Their conclusion at the end of a two-year trial, published on Friday in the Lancet, is that the bowel cancer drug Avastin – …