As many of you know 2023 was a year of big change for me. Eyegotcha became part of Vision Source Bridgeville in February.
In general, there were several big events in 2023 in regard to eye care. The FDA approved 11 new drugs:
• Pegcetacoplan is a medication approved for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration.
• Izcrvay also for GA
• Aflibercept used to treat preterm infants, diagnosed with ROP
• Regeneron also received approval for Aflibercept eight MG injection for the treatment of wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), Diabetic Retinopathy.
• Faricimab- SVOR for treatment of retinal vein occlusion
• Mydcombi the first ophthalmology spray for inducing mydriasis for diagnostic procedures and in conditions where short-term pupil dilation is desired. It marks the first approved fixed-dose combination of tropicamide and phenylephrine in the U.S.
• MIEBO for treatment of dry eye disease
• Vevye also received approval for the treatment of dry eye disease
• Xdemvy the first and only treatment for Demodex Blepharitis
• Ryzumi was approved for the reversal of pharmacology-induced mydriasis
• Pilocarpine hydrochloride for treatment of presbyopia in adults
Most of these treatments are not available for general use. It sometimes takes days to months to go from FDA approval until the drug launches. Supply chain issues, manufacturing, and more trials will determine when these treatments hit the market.
The FDA monitors the whole process, including marketing the new products.
Other big news in 2023:
• The ongoing eyedrop recall of over-the-counter store branded eyedrops
• Advancements in LASIK surgery technology
• The world saw the first whole, eye transplant in a human being.
• The fashion of eyewear has advanced with the use of new materials and designs
• Artificial intelligence (AI) and eye care is gaining momentum. AI algorithms can help predict risks for conditions and diseases
• Smart glasses and virtual headsets. Advances in wearable technology is leading the way to provide visually impaired patients with more freedom.
• Retinal gene therapy is a non-invasive treatment for eye diseases, where a virus containing a healthy copy of the gene that causes the disease is then injected into the eye.
Expectations for 2024 are that eye care sector will continue to evolve and grow. With more new technologies will be created, new drugs will go on to clinical trials and lead to approvals, and one of the biggest issues that will continue to be addressed in vision care is the access to visual health for all.