A cost-effectiveness comparison between monotherapy with Eylea for diabetic macular edema and starting off-label bevacizumab first and switching patients to Eylea if need be showed that the bevacizumab-first strategy was far more cost effective, according to results presented by Matthew W. MacCumber, M.D., Ph.D., today at the American Society of Retinal Specialists annual scientific meeting in Seattle.
But in an interview prior to the meeting, MacCumber said that the results should be applied with caution and should be extended to other retinal diseases.
“Diabetic macular edema is a forgiving disorder,” said MacCumber, of Illinois Retina Specialists and a professor and director of research for the Department of Ophthalmology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “Other conditions in the retina, for instance age-related macular degeneration, if you lose that benefit (of anti-VEGF treatment) early on, you may never get it back.”
Bevacizumab, sold under the brand-name Avastin, has been used off-label and repackaged by retinal specialists for many years.