How Does Cost Versus Dosing Impact Prescriber Preferences and Payer Policy?
Agents that target vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) have expanded the treatment armamentarium in Brazil and Mexico for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness. Notable anti-VEGF agents include Lucentis (Novartis) and Eylia/Wetlia (Bayer HealthCare), both of which are labeled for wet AMD, and compounded Avastin (Roche), a less-expensive off-label alternative. Maximized uptake of premium-priced anti-VEGF drugs—and, indeed, of any novel emerging wet AMD drug—will greatly depend on securing formulary coverage across healthcare programs in Brazil and Mexico. Yet, given Avastin’s availability and the anticipated emergence of discounted anti-VEGF biosimilars, drug developers will need to underscore the value of their products to payers in these cost-conscious Latin American markets.