Ophthalmologists, optometrists have differing referral patterns for GA treatment

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Ophthalmologists and optometrists have varying attitudes and perceptions about treating geographic atrophy (GA), according to survey results presented in a poster at ARVO 2023.

The study, which involved 81 injecting ophthalmologists (IO), 50 non-injecting ophthalmologists (NIO), and 50 optometrists (O) in the US, aimed to assess their referral patterns and attitudes towards GA prior to the FDA’s decision on new drug applications for pegcetacoplan and avacincaptad pegol.

The survey results show that most injecting ophthalmologists (86%) and non-injecting ophthalmologists (84%) believe that there is a great unmet need for geographic atrophy (GA) patients, while only 54% of optometrists feel the same. Additionally, a significant percentage of all 3 groups recognize the importance of treating GA early (69% of IO, 62% of NIO, and 76% of O).

Although most participants—69% (IO), 62% (NIO), and 76% (O)—said treating GA early is important, only 32% of NIO and 36% of optometrists would refer a patient within the first month of diagnosis. Overall, most participants agreed that it is extremely important to convince asymptomatic GA patients to receive treatment.

Regarding treating neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) in the same eye as GA, opinions vary among injecting ophthalmologists, with 37% saying they would treat on separate dosing schedules and 36% saying they would combine treatment. The remainder would need more information.

Finally, a majority of injecting ophthalmologists are aware of pegcetacoplan and avacincaptad pegol, with 47% of those aware being extremely familiar with pegcetacoplan and 37% with avacincaptad pegol.

Ferguson C. Ophthalmologists’ and Optometrists’ Perspectives on the Geographic Atrophy (GA) Landscape Poised on Evolution. Presented at: ARVO 2023.