An analysis of data collected in the Intelligent Research in Sight (IRIS) Registry suggests that in the real-world setting, newly diagnosed diabetic macular edema (DME) is being vastly undertreated.
Not only are the majority of these patients not receiving active intervention, but those who are started on anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy seem to be getting a suboptimal number of injections, said Jeffrey R. Willis, MD, PhD.
When discussing the paper, however, Dr. Willis and members of the session’s panel noted that the findings need to be interpreted carefully. Taking into account the limitations of the registry, their comments brought forth that it is uncertain whether the data truly reflect the real-world situation. Even if they do, the study does not explain the reasons for undertreatment.
“Although DME is a leading cause of visual impairment among adults in the United States, there is limited national level data on how it is being managed,” Dr. Willis said. “In order to address this knowledge gap, our study used data from the IRIS registry to characterize real-world treatment patterns surrounding incident DME.”
Dr. Willis is now assistant medical director, Genentech, South San Francisco. He recently completed a medical retina fellowship at the UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA.