Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents—including aflibercept, bevacizumab, and ranibizumab—have ushered in a new era in the treatment of retinal and choroidal neovascularization. These anti-VEGF agents are considered first-line therapy for numerous ocular conditions, including diabetic macular edema (DME) and age-related macular degeneration.
Berkowitz et al sought to determine how the use of anti-VEGF agents have evolved over time, specifically regarding trends for U.S. Medicare Part B beneficiaries from 2012 to 2015.1
The researchers found that a small number of ophthalmologists were responsible for almost a third of the total number of intravitreal injections.
Further, although bevacizumab accounts for the highest total number of injections overall, its use is declining.
1. Berkowitz ST, Sternberg P, Jr., Feng X, et al. Analysis of Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Injection Claims Data in US Medicare Part B Beneficiaries From 2012 to 2015. JAMA Ophthalmol 2019 (in press).
2. CATT Research Group, Martin DF, Maguire MG, et al. Ranibizumab and bevacizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. N Engl J Med 2011;364(20):1897-908.
3. Ross EL, Hutton DW, Stein JD, et al. Cost-effectiveness of Aflibercept, Bevacizumab, and Ranibizumab for Diabetic Macular Edema Treatment: Analysis From the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network Comparative Effectiveness Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol 2016;134(8):888-96.
4. Singh N, Chang JS, Rachitskaya AV. Open Payments Database: Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Agent Payments to Ophthalmologists. Am J Ophthalmol 2017;173:91-7.