Though more anti-VEGF medications are on the way, Eylea (aflibercept, Regeneron), is still the new kid on the block. While the number anti-VEGF injections has grown significantly over the years, not all of the drug options are experiencing the same increase. A new study of US Medicare Part B beneficiaries is showing that Eylea’s use is up 69.4%, while competitors Lucentis (ranibizumab, Genentech) and off-label Avastin (bevacizumab, Genentech) have decreased by 7.1% and 17.1%, respectively.

The study used data from Medicare Part B patients’ records from 2012 to 2015. For 2015, 3,348 ophthalmologists performed a total of 2,574,124 intravitreal injections—870,843 for Eylea, 697,412 for Lucentis and 1,147,432 for Avastin.

The researchers note that 100 ophthalmologists (3% of the nation’s total) administered 17.6% of all Eylea injections. Likewise, those 100 MDs accounted for 31% of all Lucentis injections and 19.6% of all Avastin injections. 

Based on state data, they also found the highest number of Eylea injections per 1,000 beneficiaries occurred in Nebraska, while Tennessee had the most Lucentis injections and South Dakota had the most for Avastin.

Berkowitz S, Sternberg P, Feng X, et al. Analysis of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor injection claims data in US Medicare part B beneficiaries from 2012 to 2015. JAMA Ophthalmol. June 20, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].