Bevacizumab, marketed as Avastin in the United States, is a treatment for cancer manufactured by Genentech. The drug was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help with the treatment of certain metastatic cancers - including metastatic colorectal cancer (MCRC), advanced nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), metastatic kidney cancer (mRCC) and glioblastoma (GBM). Initially, the drug was also approved to help with the treatment of breast cancer, however, in November of 2011 the FDA revoked its approval for this type of treatment.
Common Side Effects Linked to Avastin
Since it was initially released in 2004, there have been serious side effects that have been linked with the usage of Avastin. Most notably, the drug has been noted to be linked to the possibility of gastrointestinal (GI) perforation, an inability for wounds to heal and serious bleeding. Beyond that, it has also been linked to the abnormal passage throughout the body, cardiac issues, severe high blood pressure, and problems with the nervous system, vision, kidney and even fertility.
Worse, it was found by the FDA that the drug did not live up to its promises and was not effective in helping patients to extend their life or to even gain control over preexisting tumors. Instead, all that the drug had been found to be effective at doing was to expose the patients to a myriad of serious and even life-threatening side effects. It was for this reason that the FDA revoked their approval of the drug for the treatment of breast cancer. While it maintains its approval for other types of cancers - and can therefore be used off-label to be a treatment for breast cancer - it will no longer paid for by insurance companies and will therefore be financially unfeasible for most patients to obtain.
Avastin and the Risk of Blindness
There has also been recent concern about injections of the drug causing blindness in patients. In fact, over sixteen people have reported that after getting the drug injected they have sustained serious eye infections and / or blindness. While the drug is not marketed as a treatment for eye disease, it has been used off-label as a cheap alternative to the pricier drugs – especially in cases where the patient is suffering from macular degeneration. The FDA announced in August of 2011 that all cases of the blindness had been linked back to a single Hollywood, Florida pharmacy that had been repacking the drug for this type of eye treatment; many people believe that the drug has been contaminated during this process.
Drug Injury Attorney: Helping Pursue Avastin Lawsuits
If you were given Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer and have sustained serious adverse side effects as a result, it is in your best interests to get the involvement of a medical injury attorney from Arnold & Itkin, LLP as soon as possible. You have legal rights and they deserve to be protected. By working with our firm, you will be able to be confident knowing that you will have considerable resources on your side and a heavyweight in your corner that is willing to go the distance for you. Do not hesitate to give our firm a call today if you would like to learn more about our legal team and how we can best help you. We have been successful in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients over the years - you can be confident knowing that we will fight tooth and nail to help defend you.
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