We now have a fourth option to treat wet (neovascular) age-related macular degeneration. Macugen came first. Avastin and Lucentis came next. Over one year ago, Eylea was approved for use by the FDA. But just last month Eylea finally received its own J-code. This means that we can now bill your insurance for this treatment. The cost is just under $2000 so, depending on your coverage, you may have a 20% copay of almost $400.
The culprit of wet AMD is VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). VEGF causes the formation of abnormal, weak and leaky blood vessels. All four treatments target VEGF and are known as VEGF blockers. Like avastin and Lucentis, Eylea targets all VEGF molecules. Like avastin and Lucentis, it is also approved to treat macular edema associated with Central Retinal Vein Occlusion. What makes Eylea unique is the frequency of treatment. Avastin and Lucentis are used as often as every four weeks depending on the severity of your AMD. The standard treatment using Eylea requires monthly injections for the first three month. This is followed by injections every two months based on severity.
As always, if you have any questions about my practice or about the treatments we offer please feel free to call.