Ranibizumab May Reduce Impaired Vision in AMD

Access to ranibizumab may reduce impact of neovascular macular degeneration

TUESDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with ranibizumab may reduce legal blindness and visual impairment, according to a study published in the June issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Neil M. Bressler, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues estimated the number of individuals in the United States who could avoid legal blindness or visual acuity caused by neurovascular AMD with the use of ranibizumab. Outcomes for visual acuity were estimated for 103,582 non-Hispanic whites, aged 50 years or older, who were eligible for treatment with ranibizumab.

The investigators found that, if no treatment was made available, 16,268 and 34,702 participants would become legally blind and visually impaired, respectively, within two years. However, monthly use of ranibizumab was estimated to decrease the legal blindness cases to 4,484 (72 percent reduction) and visually impaired cases to 21,919 (37 percent reduction) in two years.

"This analysis suggests that the impact of neovascular AMD on uncorrectable legal blindness and visual impairment is dramatically reduced in individuals 50 years or older in the United States and throughout the world where access to monthly ranibizumab is available," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including Genentech, which funded the study.

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