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New Drug Can Improve Diabetic Macular Edema, Even Caused by Actos

shutterstock_562202062This month, the FDA has approved a drug called Lucentis, which can help diabetes patients with diabetic macular edema improve their eyesight.

Macular edema occurs when the macula, a small piece of tissue at the center of the retina, begins to swell with fluid. When fluid leaks into the macula, the swelling blurs vision. While people with macular edema often retain peripheral vision, the disease can cause damage to the retina, and eventual vision loss.

Lucentis has completed a successful clinical trial, in which at least one-third of the 759 patients had improved vision. The drug is injected directly into the eye, and has been shown to stop the progression of macular edema. Previously, laser treatments were used to halt the progression of the disease, but they could not restore patients’ eye sight.

Renata Albrecht, MD, of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says the FDA’s approval “represents a major development for the treatment of people whose vision is impaired by DME as a complication of their disease.” Lucentis has been approved previously to treat other eye disorders involving the macula. Up to 45% of patients receiving the monthly injections regained some eye sight.

This news will be welcome to patients with Type 2 diabetes who have taken Actos to treat their condition. Patients who took Actos were 2 to 3 times more liked to develop the eye condition, compared to patients with Type 2 diabetes who were not using that prescription. Twenty percent of patients with Type 2 diabetes develop macular edema anyway. Recent studies have shown that other drugs like metformin, changes to diet and exercise, and even radical weight loss surgery can prevent or manage Type 2 diabetes much better than thiazolidinediones, a group of drugs that includes Actos, Avandia, and the recently approved generic form of Actos, pioglitazone.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals is facing several lawsuits against Actos, which have been consolidated into MDL 2299.

If you or a loved one have Type 2 diabetes, have been treating the disease with Actos for two or more years, and have since developed severe side effects like diabetic macular edema, bladder cancer, liver failure, or heart disease, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced lawyers at the Strom Law Firm are accepting cases against Takeda Pharmaceuticals nationwide, so contact us today. We offer free consultations to get you on the road to recovery. 803.252.4800.



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