At least sixteen people in the USA have gotten severe eye infections and some have been blinded from injections of the drug Avastin according to health authorities.
Avastin is approved to treat cancer, not eye disease. However, many retina specialists use Avastin off label because it is a cheaper form of treatment than Lucentis, another drug that has been approved as an eye treatment.
The off-label use of Avastin has saved patients considerable medical expenses but dividing a vial of Avastin into numerous tiny doses for injection into the eye introduces a risk of bacterial contamination. That is apparently what has happened in these cases. One of the affected patients suffered an eye infection of Streptococcus viridans that spread to his brain. The patient has filed a claim for compensation alleging that he has become permanently blind and brain damaged. A recall has been announced of all syringes containing Avastin.
Avastin’s manufacturer Genentech has said that it always cautioned against the use of Avastin in the eye. “Avastin is not manufactured or approved and to date has not been proven safe for use in the eye”, a spokesman for the company said. Eye doctors who use Avastin have played down concerns about the risk of bacterial contamination. Eye specialists have said the recent incidents stemmed from careless procedures by pharmacies and should not discourage the use of the drug.
If you have received an injection of Avastin into your eye and have suffered adverse consequences you may be entitled to claim damages. To find out more about your legal rights to claim compensation, please contact Liam Moloney, Solicitor in Naas, on 045 898000 or simply log onto to our website at www.moloneysolicitors.ie