The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave its approval to the drug Lucentis as a treatment for diabetic macular edema (DME), making it the first medicine approved for the ailment.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DME occurs when fluid enters the macula, the central part of the eye’s retina. This causes the macula to expand, blurring vision. Because up to 26 million Americans have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, this eye condition is a major source of new-onset vision loss, the FDA said. In 2010, 3.9 million diabetic adults had trouble with their vision.
Diabetes is a major public health issue in our country, and all patients with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic macular edema. Laser surgery has been the only approved treatment until now for DME.