Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Critics attack B.C. eye drug policy

From CBC News:
People in B.C. suffering from a degenerative eye condition are in a quandary over a provincial policy that allows doctors to profit by using a medication that's much cheaper than the approved drug.

In June, B.C. started to pay for treatments with Lucentis, a drug that can halt macular degeneration, a retinal condition affecting hundreds of thousands of Canadians over 45 years of age.

Lucentis — the only medication approved by Health Canada for treatment of macular degeneration — costs $1,575 for a vial that provides three doses.

Leanne Bernaerdt of Richmond said the doctor treating her 83-year-old mother decided to switch to another drug, Avastin, a drug that costs about $20 a dose but is intended for colon cancer patients. ...more

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