The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends EYLEA for patients with visual impairment due to diabetic macular oedema (DMO).
Nevertheless, a core group of patients diagnosed with early stage DMO will be denied treatment until the disease has progressed to a stage where permanent damage to the eye has already begun, according to Dr Sobha Sivaprasad, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Moorfields Eye Hospital and King’s College Hospital London.
Dr Sivaprasad said: “It is good news that we may potentially have Eylea as a further effective treatment option for many patients experiencing visual impairment due to DMO. However, it is frustrating that while we are able to diagnose the disease early through the diabetic retinal screening programme we are still unable to treat patients until their DMO progresses.
“The level of vision in patients who are diagnosed early tends to be good and prompt treatment will help maintain this vision by preventing further damage due to DMO. Another treatment option available for those with early stage DMO includes laser therapy, which is not very effective and can even lead to deterioration of vision.”
DMO occurs in some people that have diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes affecting the eye. Some 50,000 people could be affected by DMO, but this is set to increase with the expected growth of the diabetes population.