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April 09, 2009

Stop Wasting our Money: Taking a Stand on the Lucentis vs Avastin Contraversy


In a previous blog post, I lamented about the high costs of using Lucentis in the treatment of macular degeneration over the much less expensive, but equally effacacious Avastin.  I continually receive letters from retinal surgeons who are treating my patients with Lucentis as a primary modality.

I am now sending the following letter to all retinal surgeons who follow this practice pattern, which in my mind, will tax our healthcare resources in the future:


Re:       Lucentis Treatment of my patients




In receiving referral letters about my patients, most recently XXXX  XXXXX, I notice that your group treats my SMD patients with Lucentis as a primary modality.  I am concerned as to why you do not try Avastin first, based on the cost efficacy.  I feel so strongly about this that I now inform all my patients of the economic impact on our healthcare system.  I will also NOT refer patients to practices that use Lucentis as their drug of choice.  I certainly do understand using Lucentis when Avastin is not working..


I am enclosing a copy of a post from my blog that fully explains my position on this matter.  I would appreciate a call from someone in your practice to discuss this further so that I may again feel comfortable referring patients to your practice.




      Cary M. Silverman, MD

It is my hope that this letter will convince these specialists to reevaluate their practice patterns for my patients, if not all their patients.  Should they not comply with my wishes, I will not be referring my patients to these practices in the future!


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