The off-label treatment of improperly packaged Avastin eye injections poses an unnecessary risk to patients. Our lawyers are currently pursuing Avastin lawsuits against the compounding pharmacies involved in the negligent packaging, handling and shipping of Avastin syringes used in these eye injection procedures.”
What is Avastin?
Avastin (bevacizumab) is considered an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drug and manufactured by Genentech, a biotechnology corporation based out of San Francisco. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004 for the intravenous treatment of certain types of cancer.
According to the manufacturers website, Avastin is approved to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) for:
- First- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy
- Second-line treatment when used with fluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin
Avastin Eye Injection Controversy
For a number of years, ophthalmologists have been injecting Avastin into the eyes of people suffering from macular degeneration and other related eye disorders such as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, and retinal vein occlusion. This treatment, when manufactured and packaged correctly, has proven to be successful for many patients. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly apparent that a number of patients have been subjected to defective, negligent and unsafe packaging practices by the compounding pharmacies that are shipping this product to eye doctors.
The treatment of macular degeneration and other eye diseases with Avastin eye injections is an off-label procedure that is not approved by the FDA. The syringes containing the drug are also NOT shipped from the manufacturer but filled and shipped from a number of large compounding facilities located throughout America.
These compounding facilities essentially take Avastin and repackage it by placing the drug into syringes, freezing them and then shipping them to opthamologists.
Although, they have recently changed their practices, many of these compounders were placing the drug into plastic syringes (sometimes diabetic syringes) that were not intended for retinal use.
Some of the syringes that are causing unnecessary side effects among patients are coated with silicone. Silicone floaters in the eye can have lasting and devastating side effects. This is why the lawyers at Johnson // Becker are pursuing and accepting new clients for the Avastin eye injection lawsuit.
Silicone Laced Avastin Eye Injections Can Lead to Serious Eye Damage
When the syringes containing Avastin are frozen for shipment by the compounding facilities, the silicone residue on the needle freezes and becomes a solid. Unfortunately, a large number of patients have reported silicone floaters and silicone contamination in their eyes after having the procedure done by their doctors.
Floaters are caused by silicone oil pockets and can cause irreversible damage to the eye. Oil pockets occur when a migration of silicone to the surface of the needle is inadvertently mixed into the Avastin injection. The silicone may inadvertently be injected into the eye in the form of a solid or as microdroplets.
Regardless of the silicone’s physical state, eye floaters and silicone contamination in the eye can not only cause visual discomfort but an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) which sometimes leads to corrective ocular surgery. IOP can lead to the following complications:
- Corneal damage
- Retinal tearing
- Retinal detachment
- Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
- Hypotony (reduced pressure in the eye)
- Vision loss
- Permanent blindness