Mayo Clinic’s ophthalmology department was one of the major participating centers in the recently announced federal study on macular degeneration treatments. Avastin and Lucentis, both made by Genentech were tested and found to be equally effective in halting eye damage that leads to blindness. Avastin, the “off label” drug, costs roughly 50 dollars per treatment. Lucentis, the only FDA approved treatment for preventing blindness from macular degeneration, costs $2,000.
Sophie Bakri, M.D., the ophthalmologist who coordinated the trial at Mayo Clinic, says patients essentially will be given the choice of either drug, however, individuals might see slight benefits from one or the other medication.