The recent judicial review ruling finds the use of Avastin (bevacizumab) in the NHS for the treatment of wet AMD to be lawful. Whilst we recognise the financial savings that could be made by switching to Avastin, and the subsequent benefit to patients and the wider NHS, there are complexities that pharmacists need to consider.
A key professional consideration must be ensuring that patients are able to receive a safe and uninterrupted supply. The quality and safety of the products, legality of supply route, and capacity of aseptic units to prepare Avastin for intra-ocular injection are all considerations. The decision by Novartis and Bayer to challenge the judicial review ruling adds further uncertainty . Pharmacists advising organisations affected by the judgement may need to seek legal advice and consider relevant guidance as part of their decision-making.