Undone Science and Blind Spots in Medical Treatment Research: A Case Study

Tom Cleary


Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a serious eye disease. Two similar drugs, Lucentis and Avastin, are available to slow the progression of wet AMD. Research has been carried out on the highly profitable drug Lucentis, so governments have licensed it for use, whereas equivalent research and formal licensing of Avastin for treatment of eye disease has been delayed and discouraged. This is a case illustrating the problem of undone science: research in socially beneficial areas may be neglected for commercial or political reasons.

Key words: Age-related Macular Degeneration; undone science; Lucentis; Avastin; eye disease

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Department of Family and Social Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center
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