New therapeutic approaches, particularly anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapies, prevent, and in some cases reverse, vision damage caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Unequal access to care across Canada remains a problem for many retina specialists and their patients.
To develop a consensus concerning the management of patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Ten Canadian retina specialists.
The development of a consensus among Canadian experts concerning optimal treatment of AMD began with a review of the clinical evidence, daily practices, existing guidelines, and current national and international approvals and policies. The experts met on June 29, 2010, in Quebec City to discuss their findings and to propose strategies for consensus.
The result of this expert panel is a consensus proposal for Canadian ophthalmologists and retina specialists who are treating patients with or at risk for developing neovascular AMD.
The consensus provides guidelines to aid retina specialists in managing exudative AMD. Currently, ranibizumab is the only agent with sufficient Level I evidence and a Health Canada-approved indication for the treatment of wet AMD. Bevacizumab has been shown to be noninferior in preserving and improving visual acuity when compared to ranibizumab. Potential safety differences between the 2 drugs remain to be elucidated. The positioning of ranibizumab in this therapeutic area will be further defined as additional data for existing and emerging therapies become available. Until then, this agent remains the therapy of choice for individuals with neovascular AMD.