Diabetic Retinopathy

Published: January 21, 2021

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Diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood sugar levels that damage the blood vessels in the retina. The blood vessels may leak, or they may close. In other cases, new blood vessels grow on the retina. All of these occurrences can lead to vision loss.(1) The Centers for Disease Control reports that 4.2 million adults in the U.S. have diabetic retinopathy, and of those, 655,000 have their vision threatened.(2)

Diabetic retinopathy is a growing problem in the U.S. as the number of people with diabetes is increasing. The CDC reports that diabetic retinopathy affects close to one-third of adults over the age of 40 with diabetes.(2)

A major health clinic reports there are several treatments for diabetic retinopathy, including laser treatments, which can slow or stop the leakage of blood in the eye, a vitrectomy, which removes blood and scar tissue from the eye, and the injection of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors into the eye, which may help stop the growth of new blood vessels in the eye.(3)

“The advent of intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medications has revolutionized the treatment of diabetic eye diseases.”(4) The use of these medications is becoming an “important treatment modality” for primary or adjuvant therapy for diabetic retinopathy.(4)

“The reference Avastin® was approved to treat cancer, as was its biosimilar Mvasi™, but its off-label use to treat diabetic retinopathy remains popular and widespread around the world … given its lower cost, perceived effectiveness, and comparable safety profile.”(5)

Learn about Edge’s repackaged unit-dose Mvasi™ (Bevacizumab-awwb) syringes here. Compliance and convenience for ophthalmology practices. 


(1) Boyd, K., reviewed by Gregori, N. M.D., American Academy of Ophthalmology, What is Retinopathy? https://www.aao.org/
(2) Centers for Disease Control, Diabetic Retinopathy, https://www.cdc.gov/ (PDF)
(3) Mayo Clinic, Diabetic Retinopathy, https://www.mayoclinic.org/
(4) Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology, Intravitreal Bevacizumab in Diabetic Retinopathy. Recommendations from the Pan-American Collaborative Retina Study Group(PACORES): The 2016 Knobloch Lecture, https://journals.lww.com/
(5) Syrop, J., The Center for Biosimilars, Intravitreal Bevacizumab Revolutionizing Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy