Two intravitreal anti-VEGF agents for the first-line treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration were used in similar frequency, incurring similar health care expenditures, according to a study.
The retrospective cohort study included 319 patients who received Eylea (aflibercept, Regeneron) and 1,054 patients who received Lucentis (ranibizumab, Genentech) for a 6-months analysis and 57 patients who received aflibercept and 374 patients who received ranibizumab for a 12-months analysis.
At 6 months, a similar number of injections was required for aflibercept (mean: 3.8 injections) and ranibizumab (mean: 3.9 injections). Expenditures were also similar, with a mean of $7,468 for aflibercept and $7,816 for ranibizumab.
At 12 months, a mean of 5.5 injections were given to patients on aflibercept and 5.8 injections to patients on ranibizumab. Expenditures were a mean of $11,052 for aflibercept and $11,342 for ranibizumab.
The study may have been limited by possible misclassification of study patients, coding errors on administrative claims data and an unrepresentative sample of patients. The study authors also noted that further follow-up is needed because aflibercept had been on the market for only a short time before the study was conducted.
Macugen (pegaptanib, Valeant) and Avastin (bevacizumab, Genentech) were not included in the analyses because pegaptanib is rarely used and bevacizumab is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat wet AMD.
Disclosure: Johnston, Wilson, Huang, Smith and Varker are employees of Truven Health Analytics. Turpcu is an employee of Genentech. Truven Health Analytics was paid by Genentech to conduct the study.