CAMBRIDGE, Ma., May 7, 2013 – The Angiogenesis Foundation released a white paper that addresses the barriers faced by individuals in the Asia-Pacific region in seeking effective treatment for wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the second-leading cause of blindness in the world. The white paper, “Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Asia-Pacific: Critical Pathways Forward,” is the result of the Asia-Pacific Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration Expert Summit, which was convened by the nonprofit Angiogenesis Foundation on February 19, 2013 in Hong Kong, China. Fourteen Asian retina specialists spent a full day collaborating, highlighting gaps in the patient care system, and identifying concrete solutions to improve patient outcomes and address research development needs.
The number of people affected by wet AMD in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to increase dramatically during the coming decades with the aging population. New therapies and diagnostic techniques have produced a paradigm shift in the diagnosis and treatment of wet AMD, specifically antiangiogenesis therapy and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Recent research suggests that Asians are more likely to develop a poorly understood variant of AMD, called polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV), underscoring the need for more detailed studies of this condition. Moreover, many patients with wet AMD living in the Asia-Pacific region do not receive the optimal evidence-based care that is needed to maintain vision and prevent progressive vision loss. The treatment window for this condition is relatively short, so any delay in intervention can mean the difference between retaining vision and developing blindness.
“Overcoming these current challenges to the early diagnosis and effective treatment of wet AMD will require the concerted efforts of stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region, including patients, family caregivers, physicians, researchers, industry leaders, regulators, and health policy makers,” commented Dr. William Li, president of the Angiogenesis Foundation.
The white paper provides an extensive analysis of the issues and needs for AMD patients in the Asia-Pacific region and can be downloaded at www.scienceofamd.org/asia-pacific-whitepaper.