Avastin: NAFDAC Exonerates Eye Center from Victims’ Blindness


By,: Joy Odor/Abuja

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has exonerated National Eye Center, Kaduna from Avastin crisis.

Speaking on behalf of the NAFDAC Director General before the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating alleged adverse effects of the drug which led to temporary blindness of about 10 patients at the Kaduna Eye Centre , the Director, Pharmoco-Vigilance, Pharmacist Ali Ibrahim maintained that before avastine drug was registered for use in Nigeria , it was tested and proven to be effective.

The agency in its laboratory test report said the Avastin drug conform with standard certification process as the avastin drug storage and chemical composition were excellent.

He added that even after approval for its usage the Agency keeps up monitoring and effectively tracking its administration.

NAFDAC however said, the National Eye Center patient had some side effects already indicated on the drug usage.

Also exonerating the Eye Centre , the Senate ad-hoc committee headed by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), in its submission said since the hospital has used the drug on 2013 patients in the past it could be that the affected patients with temporary blindness actually had inflammation as stated as the drug’s side effects.

The committee chairman, however, stressed that doctors in National Eye Center must always exercise caution in administering all drugs to avoid challenges and must not be discouraged because of what happened but continue to restore sight to Nigerians.

Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of National Eye Center, Dr. Mahmoud Alhassan reiterated center’s commitment towards restoring sight of the Avastin patient, stressing that N7.6million has been spent on treatment, feeding and general welfare of the affected patients.

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