Residents of Albuquerque and nearby areas of New Mexico may want to learn more about how the use of off-label drugs prescribed by doctors are causing eye problems as well as other issues. According to Retina Today, an estimated one-fifth of the drugs prescribed today are not approved by the FDA.
What are off-label drugs?
These are drugs that have not received approval from the FDA. A requirement is that they must be effective and safe, and the treatment conforms to the standard of care.
Does an off-label drug have more medical risks?
There may be a risk to doctors for medical malpractice if these drugs are prescribed. Ophthalmologists sometimes prescribe off-label drugs, so they should be aware of eye injuries that may occur.
Medicine used in treatment of eye disorders
Bevacizumab (brand names: Avastin, Genentech) is widely prescribed for the treatment of several retinal disorders. Compounded drugs have not received verification by the FDA for safety or effectiveness.
In fact, there have been instances of bevacizumab recalls for contamination. A compounding pharmacy made this prescription. It contaminated batches, resulting in blindness for the users. However, rather than blaming the doctors, the pharmacies have taken the blame. There are some exceptions.
Physicians are at fault when they:
- Inadequately prepare the injection site
- Puncture a single-dose vial multiple times
- Use a drug in conjunction with other drugs in a single syringe
Compounding pharmacies must receive certification
Performing bilateral injections of compounded, off-label drugs puts physicians and patients at more risk. Doctors who want to avoid medical malpractice claims should think twice before using off-label drugs that may harm patients.
Off-label drugs prescribed by doctors may cause eye problems, including blindness. If compounding pharmacies make a drug, the pharmacy should have certification. Proof of safety, as well as effectiveness, is necessary if drugs do not have FDA approval.