Cost before care – what price patient safety?

French Drug Regulator speaks out to highlight risks of therapeutic substitution 

In its recent report, “When is a Medicine Not a Medicine?”, the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM) highlighted the dangers to patients when cost is put before quality care.  In three case studies, the report highlighted examples of patients being harmed and, indeed, killed, when these cost-cutting measures go wrong.  Since then, there have been well publicised reports from the USA, of the horrendous damage done to patients due to failings in so-called “compounding laboraties”.

Now, in response to a question from Gilbert Barbier (Member, French Senate, Jura Department)  the French Drug regulator (ANSM) has clarified the situation, saying:

  1. There is not a single country in the world that has authorised the substitution of Lucentis with Avastin.
  2. Pharmacovigilance data shows that the use if Avastin causes more toxicity than the use of Lucentis.
  3. These two products are radically different; this is as to compare Aspirin with Paracetamol, they are not considered as equivalent and substitutive.

For the press release in PDF, please click here.

For the press release in Word format, please click here.

The Debate in France

Detailed coverage of the French debate can be found via the following linked video.  The times of the questions and answers are indicated for