Avastin, a drug approved to treat certain cancers, has been associated with severe, painful, and often blinding eye infections among people who received it off-label via injection to treat wet, age-related macular degeneration. Avastin eye infection clusters and blindness have been reported in several sates, including Florida, California and Tennessee. Our defective drug lawyers are experienced in defective drug ligation and are actively investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of Avastin blindness victims.
If you lost your sight, or suffered a serious eye infection following an Avastin eye injection treatment, you may be entitled to compensation. Our Avastin blindness lawyers are currently offering free legal evaluations to anyone who sustained a bacterial eye infection following Avastin injections for wet, age-related macular degeneration. We urge you to contact one of our experienced attorneys today to discuss your potential Avastin blindness lawsuit by completing the contact form at the right or calling us 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
Avastin Eye Infection Clusters
Avastin is approved to treat a number of cancers, including metastatic colon cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, kidney cancer and glioblastoma multiforme, an incurable brain cancer. However, it’s long been used off-label to treat wet, age related macular degeneration, as an alternative to the much more costly drug, Lucentis. Both Avastin and Lucentis are made by Genentech and work similarly. However, because Lucentis is so expensive ($2,000 for one dose), doctors often use Avastin injections (at only $50/dose) off-label to treat the eye disease. However, to obtain the appropriate dose of Avastin for eye injections, large vials of the drug must be divided into smaller doses by a compounding pharmacy. During this procedure, the drug may become vulnerable to bacterial contamination.
In August 2011, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned that a cluster of 12 Avastin eye infections in Florida had been traced to tainted injections prepared by a single pharmacy located in Hollywood, California. The Florida patients received their injections in early July and were apparently infected with Streptococcus oralis. The pharmacy in question had repacked the Avastin from sterile injectable 100 mg/4 mL, single-use, preservative-free vials into individual 1 ml single-use syringes.
In addition to the Florida Avastin eye infection cluster reported by the FDA, similar incidents were reported in connection with two Veterans Administration (VA) facilities. Four people sustained such infections following Avastin injections administered through the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, part of the VA. Five were also reported among people who received Avastin eye injections at the VA medical center in Los Angeles.
In September 2011, the VA announced its healthcare facility’s would no longer use Avastin to treat wet, age-related macular degeneration. The facilities were directed to consider alternative therapies including Lucentis, to treat the condition, pending the VA’s investigation of the eye infections. The VA said it would reassess Avastin for treating macular degeneration after its investigation is complete.