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Improving Treatment Options for Macular Diseases


April 12, 2019

According to recent research, there is a urgent need for treatment programs in Central and Eastern Europe to ensure that patients with macular diseases have timely access to appropriate care.  

In order to provide an overview of both the clinical and economic burden of wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema, researchers, led by Polona Jaki Mekjavic, MD, PhD, and colleagues, conducted a literature review. The researchers reviewed data from PubMed, ophthalmology associations, national statistical offices, and government agency websites. They also obtained practical viewpoints from local ophthalmologists and health care economics experts.  

Dr Makjavic and colleagues found that epidemiological data on both retinal diseases were limited. They found that there are effective treatment options for both diseases and international guidelines recommend use of intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections as first-line therapy.

“Local expert organizations broadly support these recommendations; nevertheless, no clinical practice guidelines exist on the treatment of [wet age-related macular degeneration] and [diabetic macular edema] in [Central and Eastern Europe],” the authors explained. “Access to and reimbursement of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents vary significantly in the region and, as a result, many patients remain untreated or inadequately treated.”

The authors concluded and stressed that there is an “urgent need” for a treatment program in order to ensure “that patients have timely access to the most approrpaite treatments.”

Julie Gould

 Reference:

Mekjavic PJ, Balciuniene VJ, Ceklic L, et al. The Burden of Macular Diseases in Central and Eastern Europe—Implications for Healthcare Systems. Value in Health Regional Issues. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vhri.2018.11.002

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