Eylea – Diabetes Medication

General Summary

  • Trade name: Eylea
  • Generic name: Aflibercept
  • Drug class: Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor
  • Manufacturer: Bayer

What is Eylea?

Eylea is a medication that is recommended as a potential treatment for some people with Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), which is a type of diabetic retinopathy. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina which can cause vision problems.

Eylea is part of the drug class that reduces the formation of abnormal blood vessels that damage the retina. It is administered by an injection through the white of the eye going into the fluid within the eye. Eylea is meant to be used alongside appropriate measures to control blood glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure.

Patients are given a single 2mg injection of Eylea every month for five consecutive months, then one injection every two months. After a year, this interval is extended depending on how successful the treatment is. This would be based on the effect the drug has on a patient’s vision. If a patient doesn’t receive any benefit, then the treatment should be discontinued.

Side Effects

Side effects of Eylea include:

  • Eye pain
  • Cataracts
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased pressure inside the eye

There is evidence of other rare but serious side effects that can be caused by Eylea treatment:

  • Retinal detachment
  • Infection inside the eye

Cost

According to the NICE technology appraisal 294, Eylea costs £816 per vial. Based on 8.5 injections, the total cost for treating a patient for the first year is approximately just less than £7,000.