A recent study has been conducted by the National Eye Institute of the United States in order to find out the best treatments for diabetic macular edema.
The study consisted of a trial that took place over the course of two years. 660 people with diabetic macular edema participated at 89 sites from the United States. With an average age of 61 years, the individuals were treated with Eylea, Lucentis or Avastin. In this way, researchers wanted to determine which medication was more effective for the patients who have been suffering from type one or two diabetes for the last seventeen years.
Since none of the people had a better vision than 20/32, the researchers assigned to each of them one of the three drugs randomly and observed them carefully for the next two years. In this way, they were able to learn that all three drugs were equally effective, despite the difference of prices.
Macular edema is the process that happens when protein and fluid deposits gather under or on the eye’s macula, which is the central area of the retina. As a result, it starts to swell and thicken and thus it ends up distorting the vision of the affected person.
The study was led by retinal specialist Dr. John Wells from the Palmetto Retina Center located in Columbia, South Carolina. According to him, people who suffer from mild visual acuity loss because of macular edema can treat themselves just the same with any of three drugs: Eylea, Avastin or Lucentis. The discovery will surely make manufacturers of Lucentis and Eylea lose profit since Avastin is the cheapest one.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for patients with a more severe loss of vision. For them, Eylea is still the most effective medicine. The study also pointed out that half of the people who took part in the test had a vision loss between a mild and moderate level. The other half suffered from moderate to severe visual acuity loss, the equivalent to 20/50.
As New York City Lenox Hill Hospital ophthalmologist Dr. Mark Former has previously stated, from the total of 7.7 million people suffering from diabetes in the United States, 750,000 are also affected by diabetic macular edema.
According to John Wells, the results of the study are sure to help patients choose the best treatment for diabetic macular edema, both for its efficiency and for its price.
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