In its announcement on Wednesday, a regional British health authority has to pass on an immediate order to halt the use of cancer drug Avastin as a cheap alternative to eye medicine Lucentis.
Novartis, the seller of Lucentis in Europe, filed a legal challenge against the illegal use of Avastin as an alternative to their medicine.
Lucentis is a licensed and legally approved drug for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) condition. The drug makes an annual sale of more than $2 billion for Novartis.
But since many hospitals in southern England started tempting to use low doses of Roche's cancer drug Avastin as a cheaper option even though it isn't licensed for same, it put many innocent lives at big risks.
Novartis, the Swiss drug maker, has won its appeal in the legal authorities, following which, Britain's health cost watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) ordered to stop the illegal use of Avastin to treat wet AMD condition.
NHS body has now decided to reverse its policy of recommending Avastin for wet AMD, which was initiated last year by the Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth (SHIP) Cluster.
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