GPhC statement on Avastin

The GPhC has issued a statement to give clarity to pharmacy professionals and patients and the public on the supply of the drug Avastin off licence for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). This follows the dismissal in the High Court of a judicial review brought by two pharmaceutical companies against 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups on 21 September 2018.

The full judgment is available to read on their website.

 

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council said:

“We are aware of concerns raised by patients and professionals about whether Avastin (bevacizumab) could be used as part of treatment plans for Wet AMD, off-licence.

“We welcome the legal clarity that is provided by the outcome of the Judicial Review. Pharmacy professionals supplying Avastin in line with the law as set out in the Court’s judgment and in line with professional standards are not at risk of GPhC fitness to practise sanctions.

“High quality healthcare puts patients at the centre of their care. In all cases we would expect pharmacy professionals to involve patients in decisions about their care, or changes to their care including the supply of Avastin.

“As outlined in our professional standards, we expect pharmacy professionals to consider our standards, their legal duties and the relevant guidance when making decisions.

“In this case NICE has made clear that there are no clinically significant differences in the effectiveness or safety for treatments licensed for AMD and those that are not, such as Avastin (bevacizumab).”