Controversy over Lucentis PBS costs

The multi-million dollar macular degeneration drug ranibizumab will continue to place huge strain on Australia's public purse, experts say, despite research showing a vastly cheaper alternative is just as effective.

Ranibizumab (Lucentis) — until recently the only drug PBS listed for treating wet age-related macular degeneration — cost taxpayers more than $400 million last year, behind only atorvastatin and rosuvastatin.

Cancer drug bevacizumab (Avastin), which costs a fraction of the price,