Four UK Primary Care Trusts have given up their legal fight to prescribe cancer drug Avastin for macular disease. Manufacturers Novartis are opposing the use of Avastin and had taken the matter to judicial review. The Primary Care Trusts have withdrawn rather than take on the drug giant which markets the alternative drug Lucentis. Avastin is also much cheaper than Lucentis though it hasn't been formally licensed for use in the UK and there are concerns about side effects.
Meanwhile we speak to the man who caused this dilemma, Professor Philip Rosenfeld, who first discovered that Avastin is an effective treatment of macular disease.