Background: Neovascular (nv) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in Germany and is usually treated with monthly injections of anti-VEGF agents. The current level and the estimated need of service provision for nv-AMD were assessed.
Methods: Current levels of service provision with ranibizumab (Lucentis) were documented in 3,633 patients in the WAVE study, the currently largest observational study in Germany on the use of anti-VEGF agents. The expected need was calculated using German population figures for 2010 and available prevalence data. Both were stratified by age and gender and descriptively analyzed.
Results: A larger number of younger patients with nv-AMD (< 75 years) than expected were treated in the WAVE study. Expected need in the age groups 75-84 years and 84 years and older was much higher than the proportion of patients actually treated in these age groups (up to 3 times). Based on expected need, women accessed treatment less often than men.
Conclusion: In the WAVE study, less elderly persons and in particular elderly women seemed to access treatment for nv-AMD than expected. Future studies should investigate barriers in accessing treatment for nv-AMD and how to address these problems.