Research News

Aflibercept is better drug for diabetic macular oedema, study finds

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1196 (Published 29 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1196
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

Three drugs to treat diabetic macular oedema—aflibercept, bevacizumab, and ranibizumab—are equally effective for patients with mild vision loss, a two year trial funded by the US National Institutes of Health shows. However, for patients with moderate or worse vision loss aflibercept produced the greatest gains, the study published in Ophthalmology showed.1

All three drugs inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor, a substance that can promote abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage that leads to blurred vision. Although the drugs have a similar mode of action, they differ substantially in cost. In the United States aflibercept costs $1850 (£1330; €1680) for an injection, bevacizumab $60, and ranibizumab $1200. In the United Kingdom the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended only aflibercept and …

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