Long-Term nAMD Patient Buy-In Is Still Lacking for Anti-VEGF Therapy


Theodore Leng, MD, MS, defines the trends of patient discontinuation, and how direct caregivers may help to reduce risk of losing patients.

Real-world registry data presented this weekend at the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) 2021 Scientific Meeting this weekend by Theodore Leng, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford University, showed patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) are prone to discontinued treatment or lost to follow-up at 3 to 6 years of treatment.

The findings, which assessed patients’ long-term adherence patterns to anti-VEGF intravitreal injections, is among the various contributions to a larger question hosted at ASRS 2021: how can clinicians improve patient buy-in to treatment of their chronic vision loss?

In the second segment of an interview with HCPLive during ASRS, Leng discussed his team’s interest in utilizing their data in clinical practice discussions.

“We definitely want to dig deeper into the treatment gaps we’ve also noticed—where people are stopping treatment and about 40% of patients are discontinuing treatment in less than 2 years, with an average time of about 90 weeks of stopping treatment,” Leng said.

As Leng pointed out, these new findings support the idea that early nAMD treatment is generally consistent and efficacious among patients, but patient engagement lulls later on. He expressed interest in the involvement of primary care physicians, who often have more frequent access to patients than ophthalmologists and could emphasize their need to stay committed to anti-VEGF therapy.

“And I think this data can be used in those conversations to say, ‘Look, patients tend to do better in the first year…but you need to keep going back and seeing this doctor to have your eye treated’,” Leng said.

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