A wide range of ocular and retinal diseases are treated by intraocular injection of specific drugs. A class of drugs, called ocular anti-VEGF drugs, are especially effective and revolutionary. These are, however, very costly and therefore out of reach of a large number of Indian patients. An anti-cancer anti-VEGF drug, called Avastin, has been found very useful in treatment of retinal diseases and has been proven to be as efficacious and safe as the costly alternatives approved for ocular use. It is widely used for this purpose even in developed countries, as its cost is a fraction of what other anti VEGF drugs cost. It is on the Who list of essential drugs for the eye.
Recently, however, spurious Avastin vials have found their way into the market. The use of these vials by unsuspecting doctors and patients has resulted in harm to patient's eyes.
Instead of investigating and going after drug counterfeiters, our government has banned the use of Avastin, thus effectively making treatment out of reach for the majority of Indians. The issue of counterfeit medicines entering the supply chain has been brushed aside. Of course, the MNCs marketing costly alternatives stand to benefit - at the cost of vision of huge number of patients.
Every patient has a right to effective and affordable treatment to prevent blindness. Please sign this petition so that the message to take appropriate action against counterfeiters reaches the Drug Controller General, India, and patients are not denied access to the same.