Vol 5 (2020): Continuous Publishing
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Published online: 2020-07-20

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The frequency and costs of intravitreal therapy agents in retinal diseases

Mahmut Atum1, Burçin Çakır1, İsa Yuvacı1, Erkan Çelik1, Gürsoy Alagöz1
Ophthalmol J 2020;5:55-59.


Background: The aim of this study is to analyze the numbers and the economic burden of intravitreal anti-VEGF agents and intravitreal dexamethasone (IVD) implants administered to patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR), age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinal vein occlusion (RVO).

Material and methods: The retrospective case-control study included 1525 patients diagnosed with DME, neovascular AMD and RVO, and received intravitreal anti-VEGF and IVD between January 2016 and December 2018. Intravitreal anti-VEGF administration was performed within the framework of the Pro Re Nata (PRN) regimen. The prices of anti-VEGF agents and IVDs were calculated on the average of the prices in the relevant year.

Results: The total number of intravitreal injections in 3 years was 5864. During the 3-year follow-up, on average,
ranibizumab (Lucentis) was applied 3.56 ± 2.25 times, alfibercept (Eylea) was applied 3.31 ± 2.16 times, and IVD
(Ozurdex) was applied 1.70 ± 0.83 times. The anti-VEGF numbers in 2016, 2017 and 2018 were 1997, 1801, 2066,
respectively. In total, the 3-year drug cost was 3,587,812.44 USD.

Conclusions: The economic burden of intravitreal anti-VEGF and IVD treatment for retinal diseases is so important to developing countries such as Turkey. The economic burden created by anti-VEGF agents and IVDs in Turkey will reduce in a serious sense, and the legal concerns of physicians will decrease thanks to the decision taken by the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (TMMDA).

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