FDA Approves Drug for Treating Diabetic Retinopathy
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave its approval on the use of Eylea, an injected drug, for treating diabetic retinopathy in patients that have diabetic macular edema. The CDC states that diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. Roughly one-third of diabetic individuals over the age of 40 have some type of eye condition, according to data from 2008.
There are currently more than 29 million people in the United States that are living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is also still the leading cause of new blindness for people between the ages of 20 to 74.
For people that have diabetic retinopathy with macular edema, abnormal blood vessel growth may occur on the surface of the retina. If the new blood vessels are broken, vision loss and blindness may occur.
Dr. Edward Cox, director of Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said via a news release that the approval of Eylea will give diabetic patients with this condition another option for treatment. Eylea is given to patients via an injection into the eye once per month for the first five injections. Then the drug is given once every two months after that. It is intended to be used alongside other measures for controlling diabetes.