Urgent need for new AMD drugs

September 17, 2007

The decline in quality of life (Qol) and the increased need for daily living assistance in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) substantiates the need for new treatments that can halt disease progression, according to a multi-country study published in the September issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

The decline in quality of life (Qol) and the increased need for daily living assistance in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) substantiates the need for new treatments that can halt disease progression, according to a multi-country study published in the September issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Researchers from France, Canada, England, Germany, Spain and the US conducted a cross-sectional study of 401 patients with bilateral wet AMD and 471 elderly controls without AMD. All subjects completed a telephone survey, including the National Eye Institute 25-item Visual Function Questionnaire, the EuroQol instrument, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Subjects were also asked about any history of falls, fractures and healthcare resource utilisation.

The patients reported 45% worse vision-related functioning, 13% worse overall wellbeing, 30% more anxiety and 42% more depression than controls. Those with AMD reported twice as many falls (subject group: 16% vs controls: 8%) and a quadrupled need for assistance with daily activities (subject group: 29% vs controls: 7%) than controls.

The researchers concluded that the dramatically reduced quality of life and the increased reliance on health resources that is seen in patients with wet AMD substantiate the need for new drugs that halt disease progression and prevent blindness.