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BMJ News discusses SHTAC scoping project on bevacizumab (Avastin) for eye treatment

Published: 3 February 2011
Eye conditions

A news article in the British Medical Journal highlights the SHTAC scoping report on bevacizumab (Avastin) for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and other eye conditions. The report, requested by the Department of Health and commissioned by the NIHR HTA programme, identifies existing and expected evidence on the unlicensed use of bevacizumab in the eye.

Health ministers in England are considering calling for a full technology appraisal of the unlicensed use of bevacizumab to treat eye conditions, according to a news article in the British Medical Journal.   

The BMJ article goes on to describe the scoping report undertaken by SHTAC. The report, commissioned by the NIHR HTA programme on behalf of the Department of Health, identifies existing and expected evidence on the unlicensed use of bevacizumab in the eye. This information contributed to the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) report on the feasibility of appraising the use of bevacizumab to treat eye conditions, which concludes that there is support for an appraisal of intravitreal bevacizumab for eye conditions. Stakeholders agreed that an appraisal would need to be conditional on, or incorporate the assessment of, the safety and quality of intravitreal bevacizumab by a regulatory body or through the involvement of regulatory expertise. Furthermore, arrangements for safety monitoring / pharmacovigilance will need to be explored. The Department of Health is now considering whether or not to refer bevacizumab to NICE for consideration as part of its technology appraisal programme.  

SHTAC have undertaken previous work on eye conditions, with their systematic review and economic evaluation of ranibizumab and pegaptanib for age-related macular degeneration underpinning the NICE guidance issued in August 2008. 

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