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Eye treatment could save NHS £84m

The NHS could save more than £84m a year if it switched treatment for a common eye condition to a cheaper drug used to treat cancer, says a study led by Queen’s University researchers.

One of the largest trials carried out in the field of eye disease in the UK has shown similar effectiveness in treating wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) when using either Lucentis, licensed for treating wet AMD, or Avastin, currently licensed for cancer treatment, research has found.

Scientists and eye specialists at 23 hospitals and UK universities analysed the results from a trial, named IVAN, involving 610 people with wet AMD.

The study authors said the NHS could save £84.5m a year, based on injecting 17,295 eyes each year, by switching from Lucentis to Avastin, and administering the treatment on an “as-needed” basis.

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