More people will be diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as populations continue to get older, reported Medical News Today.
According to the article, AMD, a condition that can eventually lead to blindness, may very well be present in the beginning phases in two-tenths of those who are 60 years old or older in certain countries.
A decade ago, there were scarcely any available methods to treat AMD, but new drugs are now giving medical professionals new ways to control the profession of the serious eye ailment, noted the article.
According to the article, Tien Win Wong, a professor affiliated with the National University of Singapore’s Singapore Eye Research Institute, and his team talked about AMD issues as part “The Lancet Series on Ophthalmology.”
A primary cause of blindness around the world, AMD is a progressive eye condition that adversely impacts the central retina. The majority of the vision issues associated with AMD occurs during the later phases of the eye condition, noted the article. The article added that substantial vision loss can come either as a result of the “wet” or the “late dry” types of AMD. With the “wet” stage, the central retina experiences blood leakage, which can trigger not only a speedy loss of vision, but also irreversible near-total blindness as a result of scarring. With the “late dry” type, progressive vision loss occurs as a result of steady degeneration and retinal-function decline.
According to the article, medical professionals have new tools in their arsenal to treat the wet AMD now that drugs such as Lucentis and Avastin are available. The article noted that studies show that both drugs can save 95% of patients from experiencing severe vision loss. According to the article, Lucentis and Avastin cost $1,593 and $42 per injection, respectively. Other than price, what differentiates the two is that Lucentis has been given the go-ahead to treat AMD while Avastin has so far not received this official nod. Doctors, however, still widely use Avastin to treat their AMD patients. But Novartis, which makes Lucentis, is doing whatever it can to stop this practice. The company has turned to the courts in the UK to stop the National Heath Service Trusts from utilizing Avastin for AMD treatments.
The legal situation is ongoing.