Is Avastin Better Than Laser for Diabetic Macular Edema?

June 24, 2009

A study compared intravitreal Avastin with and without intravitreal Kenalog, vs. focal laser for diabetic macular edema. The Avastin group did better at 24 weeks, and the Kenalog did not add anything. This is good news- I would love to be able to avoid the complications of Kenalog, and it looks like just another nail in the coffin of laser for diabetes. Hopefully, laser for diabetes, an inherently destructive procedure, will soon prove to be as out-of-date as laser for wet ARMD.




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3 Responses to “Is Avastin Better Than Laser for Diabetic Macular Edema?”

  • Dr. Ari Weitzner

    avastin is now considered standard of care, even though it is considered “off label”. tell the insurance company that if the doctor used lucentis, which is fda approved, it would have cost $2000 per injection instead of $100 or so with avastin. would they have preferred that?
    dont pay for the avastin injection- every insurance plan pays for it now. speak with your congressman (they love harassing the evil insurance plans), call your local newspaper, write to the department of insurance in your state etc., and send copies of all your letters to the insurance company. you will win the case if you persist. good luck!

  • Sandra Slayton

    I was diagnosed with diabetes a little over a year ago, thanks to the retina doctor who determined that was the cause of my vison problems.

    I was declared legally blind in left eye. He did laser surgery–no improvement. He did injection under the eyeball–no improvement. He did the injection of avastin and in a month the swelling was all but gone, leakage stopped and where before I had barely been able to make out the huge e at the top of the chart, I could read 4 rows down with left ye.

    Then my stinking insurance company hit me–it was called experimental and they would not cover the injections into my eyeball. I ham filing an appeal because I think it is totally wrong that we pay out the nose for insurance and they find more ways to get around paying bills. Funny thing, in my small town of 9400 I know 3 other women who gets this injections and 2 of them are members of my 15 member church group. And everyone of them has their injections covered by their insurances (all different) and I can say, none is BC/BS!.

    But you are right, this procedure was wonders for mine, and no if I can my insurance to cover it, I will have other eye done.

  • I think you are right on target, or rather, you’ve hit the nail on the head! Ozurdex will be released shortly, the new biodegradable drug delivery system from Allergan. This novel system (see article) will have many off-label uses, including diabetic retinopathy. In the near future, other similar products will be hitting the market, an in this case, it’s not too hard to imagine an intraocular system that delivers Avastin. Voila! No more lasers.

    Randall V. Wong, M.D.
    Retina Specialist