National Eye Centre indicted over injection that induced blindness


Nigeria’s drug control agency, (NAFDAC), has found that the National Eye Centre, Kaduna wrongly administered 100mg dose of Avastin injection, that allegedly led to the blindness of 10 patients.

The statement on NAFDAC’s website reads: “The investigation established that the National Eye Centre, Kaduna used Avastin injection to treat patients with severe retina or macular pathologies and that the drug was administered on the 10 patients who were recalled by the Centre for observation and management following their complaints.”

“The indications for which NAFDAC registered Avastin injection are metastatic colorectal cancer, metastatic breast cancer, advanced metastatic or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer, advanced and/ or metastatic renal cell cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer.”

“Therefore, the use of Avastin injection at the National Eye Center was an off-label use, i.e., it is not indicated on the label by the manufacturer or approved for treatment of eye ailments by NAFDAC.”

The health agency said it received a complaint from a Nigerian on Monday, June 3, 2019 about the incident and immediately initiated an investigation.

It said officials then met and discussed with the management of the centre.

It also said a packet of Avastin injection in stock at the hospital was taken for laboratory analysis to ascertain the quality of the product. Avastin is a drug used to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The Nigerian Senate had earlier instructed the health agency to “suspend forthwith” the use of Avastine injections in the country.

The call for suspension was made after 10 persons went blind after the drug was reportedly adminstered on them.

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