Five More Patients Blinded by Drug in Los Angeles VA Hospital

Five more patients have been blinded after being injected with the drug Avastin for macular degeneration at a West Los Angeles Medical Center, a VA facility, according to a New York Times report.

Avastin, which is not available in single-dose vials, has been shown to be a cost-effective treatment for macular degeneration. Lucentis, an FDA-approved treatment for macular degeneration, costs approximately $2,000, compared to $50 for Avastin. However, the additional handling (because it is not available in single-dose vials) exposes patients to potential contamination.


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Four patients also suffered infections after receiving Avastin at Nashville (Tenn.) VA Medical Center. In addition, the FDA issued an alert that the drug caused at least a dozen serious eye infections in the Miami area.

The VA department said the Los Angeles medical center will cease use of Avastin and begin using Lucentis.

Related Articles on Avastin:

FDA: Repackaged Avastin Caused Eye Infections in Florida
Four Patients Become Victims of Contaminated Shots at Tennessee VA Facility
NHIC Limits Avastin Use Starting Feb. 1

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