States halt sale of Roche’s blockbuster drug as patients lose eyesight

Usage of Avastin reportedly led to partial loss of eyesight in 15 patients in Gujarat, following which the southern state of Telangana ordered a freeze on all batches of the drug being sold in the state.
By Himani Chandna | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2016 11:48 PM IST

While two Indian states have put sales of Swiss drug maker Roche’s blockbuster drug Avastin on hold after reports of partial loss of eyesight among patients emerged, the country’s apex drug regulator has ordered state drug controllers to collect samples of the drug for testing from the across the country.

Usage of Avastin reportedly led to partial loss of eyesight in 15 patients in Gujarat, following which the southern state of Telangana ordered a freeze on all batches of the drug being sold in the state.

“It is an alarming issue. I have sent alerts to state drug controllers to investigate the matter and I have also ordered collection of Avastin’s samples pan-India. We have also seized the batch of drugs and have sent a notification across India to monitor the usage of Avastin,” GN Singh, drug controller general of India told HT.

For about 20 days, sale for the drug has been halted in Gujarat and samples have been sent for testing. The report is expected in two weeks. “If the report signals any loophole in the manufacturing process or negligence on the part of the company, we will order an inspection and audit at company’s manufacturing units,” Singh said.

Roche has entered into a licensing agreement with Curadev, a private Indian company, to develop small molecules in cancer immunotherapy, and stores its imported products at its facility in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, the drug maker has also initiated an internal investigation into the matter. “We are taking the events in Gujarat very seriously. Roche will cooperate fully with any investigations undertaken by the authorities. We have also initiated an internal investigation,” the company’s spokesperson said in an e-mail to HT.

Though doctors around the globe use Avastin to treat vision loss, it has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for that purpose. Studies have shown that eye injections of Avastin check vision loss but the company does not claim to sell the drug for this specific purpose.

“We would like to highlight that Avastin has not been approved for intra-ocular use by the US FDA, EMA or the government of India. It is not developed and manufactured to meet intra-ocular standards. Adaptation of the product for use in this way is considered ‘off label’,” the spokesperson said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Index heavyweights such as State Bank of India (SBI), Power Grid Corporation of India, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), Axis Bank and ONGC were among top BSE Sensex gainers.(Bloomberg)
Index heavyweights such as State Bank of India (SBI), Power Grid Corporation of India, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), Axis Bank and ONGC were among top BSE Sensex gainers.(Bloomberg)

Sensex breaches 51,000, Nifty above 15,100

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 02:03 PM IST
  • BSE Sensex was breached 51,000 on the upside, while the broader Nifty 50 index was ruling above 15,100.
Close
In the previous session, gold futures closed at <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>45,548 per 10 gram with silver closing at <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>67,339 per kg.(Virendra Singh Gosain/ HT Photo)
In the previous session, gold futures closed at 45,548 per 10 gram with silver closing at 67,339 per kg.(Virendra Singh Gosain/ HT Photo)

Gold prices fall closes to 10-month low at 45,304 per 10 gm

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 01:44 PM IST
Gold prices have dipped by 11,000 from its previous high in August last year when it cost 56,200 per 10 grams.
Close
A petrol pump employee wearing a face mask while attending to a customer in Trinagar, New Delhi.(Sanchit Khanna/HT File Photo)
A petrol pump employee wearing a face mask while attending to a customer in Trinagar, New Delhi.(Sanchit Khanna/HT File Photo)

Petrol and diesel prices in your city on March 3, check here

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 12:53 PM IST
Here’s what you pay for a litre of petrol and diesel in your city on March 3 as per the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) site
Close
FILE PHOTO: The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S., November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S., November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant/File Photo(REUTERS)

OPEC oil has advantage over US shale during pandemic recovery

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 12:06 PM IST
  • Prior to the pandemic-induced downturn, OPEC countries led by Saudi Arabia restrained their production. Shale drillers took advantage, boosting US output to a record 13 million barrels a day.
Close
After a decent show so far in 2020 despite the pandemic, the IPO market is awaiting a bumper crop with more than 30 IPOs worth over <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>30,000 crore lined up for the new year.(AP/ Representational)
After a decent show so far in 2020 despite the pandemic, the IPO market is awaiting a bumper crop with more than 30 IPOs worth over 30,000 crore lined up for the new year.(AP/ Representational)

Easy Trip Planners set price band for March 8 IPO at 186-187

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 11:10 AM IST
The online travel agency has set the price band for its IPO at 186-187 per share. The IPO is likely to open for subscription on March 8 and close on March 10.
Close
The Sensex rally was driven by HDFC, SBI, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, L&amp;T and ICICI Bank – spurting as much as 1.4 per cent.(MINT_PRINT)
The Sensex rally was driven by HDFC, SBI, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, L&T and ICICI Bank – spurting as much as 1.4 per cent.(MINT_PRINT)

Sensex, Nifty firm up gains in early trade; financial stocks shine

Posted by Prashasti Singh | PTI, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 09:52 AM IST
The BSE barometer Sensex was trading higher by 411.23 points or 0.82 per cent at 50,708.12 in early session, and the Nifty was up 124.65 points or 0.84 per cent at 15,043.75.
Close
Analysts had estimated that the auction will fetch the government about <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>60,000 crore.(REUTERS)
Analysts had estimated that the auction will fetch the government about 60,000 crore.(REUTERS)

Jio buys most 4G spectrum as bids exceed govt expectations

By Ishita Guha
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 11:35 PM IST
  • Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, India’s largest telco, emerged as the top bidder, cornering roughly three-fourths of the spectrum sold in the two-day event.
Close
American Airlines flight 718, the first US Boeing 737 MAX commercial flight since regulators lifted a 20-month grounding in November, takes off from Miami, Florida, US. (Reuters)
American Airlines flight 718, the first US Boeing 737 MAX commercial flight since regulators lifted a 20-month grounding in November, takes off from Miami, Florida, US. (Reuters)

Global airlines body says airlines faced crisis in January

Reuters, Paris
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 11:18 PM IST
New variants of the coronavirus forced governments to tighten travel restrictions across the world, hurting the outlook for airlines.
Close
The key reason for higher growth in grants-in-aid and lower growth in tax devolution to the states is the increase in the proportion of the central cess and surcharges as they are not part of the tax devolution to the states. (REUTERS)
The key reason for higher growth in grants-in-aid and lower growth in tax devolution to the states is the increase in the proportion of the central cess and surcharges as they are not part of the tax devolution to the states. (REUTERS)

Cess, surcharge shares doubled to 19.9% in FY 20-21: Report

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 10:50 PM IST
Under the existing Finance Commission (FC) framework, the cesses and surcharges collected by the Centre are not part of the tax devolution.
Close
In April 2020, the bank set up a mechanism to offer emergency assistance program loans to its member countries(Reuters)
In April 2020, the bank set up a mechanism to offer emergency assistance program loans to its member countries(Reuters)

BRICS bank grants over USD 1 billion Covid-19 assistance loan to China

PTI, Beijing
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 10:31 PM IST
This is the second emergency loan for the same amount approved by the NDB to help China fight the pandemic.
Close
A woman looks at a gold necklace in a shop in Noida in this file photo.(Virendra Singh Gosain/ HT Photo)
A woman looks at a gold necklace in a shop in Noida in this file photo.(Virendra Singh Gosain/ HT Photo)

Gold price drops to 44,760 per 10 gram, silver down too

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 09:46 PM IST
Gold prices have fallen nearly 11,000 since August last year when the yellow metal breached the all-time rate at 57,008 per 10 gram.
Close
Imports during April-February this fiscal also dipped 23 per cent to USD 340.88 billion.(Bloomberg)
Imports during April-February this fiscal also dipped 23 per cent to USD 340.88 billion.(Bloomberg)

Exports dip marginally in February; trade deficit widens to USD 12.88 billion

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:59 PM IST
Imports grew 6.98 per cent to USD 40.55 billion during the month, the data showed.
Close
According to the payroll data released last Saturday, net new enrolments with EPFO grew by 24 per cent to 12.54 lakh in December compared to the same month in 2019.(HT Photo)
According to the payroll data released last Saturday, net new enrolments with EPFO grew by 24 per cent to 12.54 lakh in December compared to the same month in 2019.(HT Photo)

EPFO may declare interest rates on EPF deposits for 2020-21 on March 4

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:24 PM IST
  • In March 2020, EPFO had reduced the interest rate on provident fund deposits to a seven-year low of 8.5% for 2019-20. The interest rate was 8.65% in 2018-19 and 8.55% for 2017-18. The interest rate was 8.65% in 2016-17.
Close
Reliance Jio bought <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>57,122.65 crore worth of spectrum while Vodafone Idea Ltd picked <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1,993.40 crore worth of airwaves.(Priyanka Parashar/ HT File Photo)
Reliance Jio bought 57,122.65 crore worth of spectrum while Vodafone Idea Ltd picked 1,993.40 crore worth of airwaves.(Priyanka Parashar/ HT File Photo)

Spectrum auction ends with 77,815 cr bids; Jio top buyer with 57,122 cr

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:14 PM IST
Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash said 855.60 MHz of spectrum was bought for 77,814.80 crore in the two-day auction.
Close
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.(PTI File Photo)
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.(PTI File Photo)

Need to ensure that startups are not afraid of failure, says Piyush Goyal

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:01 PM IST
The minister also said the need of the hour is to engage more with rural India also as there is a lot of talent lying there.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP