Introduction of ‘National Patient Safety Alerts & MHRA guidance of the use of Avastin for intravitreal use
Introduction of ‘National Patient Safety Alerts’
The MHRA is responsible for co-ordinating and disseminating medication safety alerts from the Central Alerting System (CAS). Common standards and thresholds have been developed so that organisations will be aligned in their actions when notifying of safety alerts and a consistent new format for the alerts has been agreed. The new-format alerts will have clear and effective actions to be taken and will require senior oversight.
MHRA guidance of the use of Avastin for intravitreal use
The MHRA has confirmed that Avastin (bevacizumab) can currently be used for off-label intravitreal treatment for age-related macular degenerative (AMD) and non-AMD eye conditions. Previously, there had been a view that the process of preparing Avastin would render it to be an unlicensed medicine, but the MHRA confirmed this isn’t the case. There is a licensed alternative product, Lucentis (ranibizumab), available for the treatment of AMD but this is more expensive. Ophthalmologists should make treatment choices based on safety and evidence-based reasons, and so Avastin can be used providing it is clinically justified.