Scientific publications

Injections frequency and health care costs in patients treated with aflibercept compared to ranibizumab: new real-life evidence from Switzerland.


Autoren: Oliver Reich, Martin K Schmid, Roland Rapold, Lukas M Bachmann, Eva Blozik

Zeitschrift: BMC Opthalmology



Previous analyses of real-life data indicated that injection frequency and health care costs did not differ for anti-VEGF treatment with aflibercept and ranibizumab. The objective of this study was to investigate whether this finding persisted when analysing a longer time period after licensing.


Retrospective analysis of health insurance claims data of two large Swiss basic health insurance plans including 28% of the Swiss population. Patients qualified for inclusion if aflibercept or ranibizumab treatment had been initiated between June 1, 2013 and November 1, 2014. Within this set, patients with at least 12 months of continuous insurance enrolment in the previous year, 12-month follow-up, and without change of anti-VEGF drug were considered. We examined the distribution of demographic data and patient characteristics between those receiving ranibizumab and those receiving aflibercept. Numbers of injections and associated health care expenditures observed during the 12-month follow-up period after incident treatment were the two outcomes considered. In multivariate regression analyses, controlling for possible confounding factors, we compared differences in these two outcomes between patients treated with aflibercept as compared to ranibizumab.


A total of 3'058 patients were analysed, 790 (26%) receiving aflibercept and 2`268 receiving ranibizumab (74%). The use of aflibercept (average number of injections 6.2) as compared to ranibizumab (average number of injections 5.7) in the follow-up period of 1 to 12 months, was associated with a 12% increase in the injection frequency (95% confidence interval (CI) 6-17%; p < 0.001).


Real-life data contradicts the assumption that aflibercept is used less frequently as compared to ranibizumab. This results in similar total health care expenditures for both anti-VEGF agents.

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