Avastin, a drug usually prescribed for cancer, has been granted temporary authorization for use in the treatment of AMD, a degenerative retinal disease that occurs after 65 years. It must be said that it is also effective and costs 80 times cheaper than the Lucentis, which now holds the monopoly, with an injection at ... 900 euros, to renew each month! This is the largest expenditure of Medicare drugs, with more than 428 million euros in 2013.
The government order authorizing the use of this anti-cancer drug in this new indication since 1st September 2015, is hotly contested by the Roche laboratory, which was put before the fait accompli. The Swiss multinational refuses that Avastin is prescribed for this purpose and has started legal proceedings to counter this decision. It must be said that Lucentis, widely used to date in the treatment of AMD, was developed by Roche ... even if it is marketed in Europe by his cousin Helvetian, Novartis (which holds a share of the capital of Rock).
AMD affects about one million French people
It is a complex progressive disease, characterized by visual deformations of the macula, a small part of the retina (barely 5%) located right in our fixation axis. The disease can cause the appearance of a black spot in the center of the vision. We speak of central scotoma. This so-called "wet" form of AMD impacts directly on daily life. While it accounts for about 20% of all AMD cases, it remains the most severe form and is responsible for 90% of AMD blindness cases.
The treatments administered - recently discovered - are "anti-VEGF". They improve the wet form of AMD by stabilizing or stopping the progression of the disease. These medications, administered by intravitreal injections (into the eye) every month, are extremely expensive for Social Security.
Protect your eyes from 50 years
On the information website www.dmlainfo.fr, you can perform a self-monitoring test of your vision, thanks to the so-called Amsler grid. Eye by eye, it can highlight symptoms potentially suggestive of AMD.
ladmlaetmoi.fr: an informative and educational website to help carers. We like the awareness campaign set up with videos in the light tone, to dramatize the disease.