Friday, October 30, 2009

Menu – Part 14: Some Updates and a Few New Posts

Since the last menu posting on June 12th, I have added two new updates on the CATT Study; eight updates on Avastin vs. Lucentis; and three new postings. The new postings include a writeup on the use of femtosecond lasers in cataract surgery; a review of the history of customized ablation, and a little about an upgraded endoscope for use in ophthalmology (including some history on this device).

First, the CATT Study Updates:

CATT Study Update 9: The CATT Study is On Track

In June I learned that the CATT Study was on track, with 850 of the intended 1200 patients enrolled. I also included a review of the first eight updates (including links).

CATT Study Update 10 – From the 2009 AAO Meeting

In October, I received a report from the AAO meeting that enrollment was nearly completed, and that first results wouldn’t be published until all 1200 enrollees had completed their first year of results.

And, the Avastin/Lucentis Updates:

Avastin/Lucentis Update 25: Comparative Studies Proliferate – France Joins the Fray

In September I learned that France had started a comparative study, to join studies underway in five other countries.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 26: CMS Ups the Ante

In early October, I learned that Medicare was tilting the table towards Lucentis by lowering the reimbursement for Avastin.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 27: Dr. Rosenfeld’s Remarks at Retina Congress 2009

Dr. Phil Rosenfeld gave an interesting presentation about the search for optimal dosing for anti-VEGF drugs at the 2009 Retina Congress.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 28: Sustained Release Lucentis May Eventually Change the Equation

Roche and Genentech announced their licensing and developmental deal with Surmodics for a sustained release/delivery system for Lucentis. I provided a few comments.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 29: Six-Month Results of Controlled Comparison Study Published

The Boston University School of Medicine and the Veterans Administration of Boston announced their six-month results of comparative study of Avastin and Lucentis. This was the first published prospective, double-masked, randomized, controlled comparative study of the two drugs. However, this study only contains 20 subjects!

Avastin/Lucentis Update 30: A Followup to Update 26 – Sen. Herb Kohl Queries CMS

Following the implementation of the reimbursement cut for Avastin to ophthalmologists, and its implication for Medicare, Senator Herb Kohl got into the act, asking CMS why this cut took place and if Genentech had any involvement?

Avastin/Lucentis Update 31: Problems with Pharmacy Compounding of Avastin?

During the 2009 AAO Meeting in San Francisco, one ophthalmologist presented on problems he had experienced with compounded Avastin. (There is, however, one problem with this presentation – the good doctor is a paid consultant for Genentech.)

Avastin/Lucentis Update 32: More on the CMS Repricing of Avastin

Finally, just after posting a good summary of the pricing of Avastin reimbursement, I learned about the CMS reversal of its policy. I posted both the summary and the breaking new information.

Some New Postings on Other Subjects:

Femtosecond Lasers Proposed for Use in Cataract Surgery

In June, I received a writeup from old friend Larry Haimovitch, writing about femtosecond lasers under investigation for cataract surgery, his report from ASCRS 2009. After receiving permission from Larry and the publisher of his piece, Biomedical Business & Technology, I reproduced it in my Journal.

By the way, this is my third writeup on femtosecond lasers.

A Review of the History of Customized Corneal Ablation (Custom LASIK)

In July, I noticed an approval for an iris-tracking laser from Technolas Perfect Vision and decided that it would be a good time to review the history of what I had written about customized corneal ablation, basically, its history. So, I listed the nine articles I had written on this subject, along with links to each piece.

Endoscopy in Ophthalmology: The Latest News and Some History

And, finally, a brief note about an improved ophthalmic endoscopic system from Endo Optiks, and my 1992 writeup about this interesting company and product.


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