Chandigarh (Bureau) This is to inform that an unfortunate incidence of increased intraocular inflammation following intravitreal injection Avastin that was given to 30 patients on 12.7.2016 has been noticed. Three patients reported to the Advanced Eye Centre on 13.7.2016 and on examination were found to have increased intraocular inflammation. The authorities sprang into action immediately, telephonically contacting all the patients repeatedly to come to the Advanced Eye Centre for their check up immediately even if they were asymptomatic. The emergency team round the clock was put to action to receive those patients. The culture from the Avastin bottle Batch No. B7034B02 has grown organism low virulent organism, stenotrophomonas maltofilia. Till now, we have seen 27 patients out of 30 patients. All the patients are being managed as per the standard of care i.e. intravitreal and systemic antibiotics and are showing improvement under close monitoring.
As per circular number 12-52/2004-DC Part 1 dated 9.3.2016, the committee under the chairmanship of DCGI chief allowed the use of intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin) injection in ophthalmic conditions. Avastin is being used off-label all over the world including USA and is most commonly used anti-VEGF drug. This drug is given to the patients after informed consent. Anti VEGFs i.e. Avastin is being given to patients with vitreoretinal pathologies like diabetic retinopathy, age related macular degeneration and vein occlusions etc. If not administered in the eye on time, these diseases may lead to blindness and this drug is the only affordable treatment that can be administered to prevent blindness. The drug figures in WHO List of essential drugs for intraocular use. The drug is not banned.
Advanced Eye Centre has an experience of using this drug since 2007 and so far more than 15,000 intravitreal injections of this drug have been administered without any side effects. These sporadic events of increased inflammation have been reported in the past from all the over the world. AEC is one the premier Centre for managing intraocular inflammation and infection and the entire team is working round for the betterment of these patients.