A group of researchers conducted a study, funded by the U.S. National Eye Institute, in order to discover the best course of treatments for patients suffering from diabetic macular edema.
The clinical trial lasted for two years and it compared the efficiency rate of Avastin, Eylea and Lucentis in 660 patients diagnosed with diabetic macular edema, which were being treated at 89 different sites from the United States.
The subjects had around 61 years old and were suffering from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes for approximately 17 years. None of the patients’ vision was better than 20/32.
The researchers assigned the patients one of the drugs randomly and then followed up on their evolution over the next two years.
According to their findings, despite the fact that these drugs have different prices, with Avastin being the cheapest, they are all equally effective for people that are experiencing a mild vision loss.
Dr. John Wells is the lead author of this study and a retinal specialist at the Palmetto Retina Center in Columbia, South Carolina. He explains that when a person experiences a mild loss in visual acuity attributed to macular edema, the end result is the same if they choose Eylea, Lucentis or even Avastin, who is considerably cheaper.
However, things start changing when the diabetic patients experience a more severe vision loss, in which case Eylea seems to be the best choice.
This means that over the course of the two-year clinical trial, patients who had a visual acuity of 20/50 or even worse got better results from Eylea than from Avastin or Lucentis.
Since the prices between these three drugs vary dramatically, this study could help patients save some money in the process, by resorting to a cheaper treatment, which will basically give them the same result.
According to a news release issued by Dr. John Wells recently, this research will help patients and their physicians choose the best course of treatment for their particular disease.
The clinical trial also showed that half of the participants had a mild to moderate vision loss, while the other half experienced a moderate to severe loss in visual acuity (20/50 or worse).
According to Dr. Mark Fromer, who is an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital from NYC, the United States has approximately 7.7 million diabetic patients, out of which 750,000 are currently suffering from diabetic macular edema.
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