2 The technology
2.1 Aflibercept solution for injection (Eylea, Bayer Pharma) is a soluble vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor fusion protein which binds to all forms of VEGF‑A, VEGF‑B, and the placental growth factor. Aflibercept solution for injection prevents these factors from stimulating the growth of the fragile and permeable new blood vessels associated with wet age‑related macular degeneration. Aflibercept solution for injection has a UK marketing authorisation 'for adults for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age‑related macular degeneration (AMD)'.
2.2 The summary of product characteristics states that the recommended dose for aflibercept is 2 mg and that treatment should be given monthly for 3 consecutive doses, followed by 1 injection every 2 months. Each 100‑microlitre vial contains 4 mg of aflibercept. Aflibercept solution for injection must only be administered by a qualified doctor experienced in administering intravitreal injections. The summary of product characteristics also states that there is no need for monitoring between injections. After the first 12 months of treatment, the treatment interval may be extended based on visual and anatomic outcomes. In this case the schedule for monitoring should be determined by the treating doctor.
2.3 The summary of product characteristics lists the following most common adverse reactions for aflibercept solution for injection: conjunctival haemorrhage, eye pain, vitreous detachment, cataract, vitreous floaters and increased intraocular pressure. For full details of adverse reactions and contraindications, see the summary of product characteristics.
2.4 The list price of aflibercept 40 mg/ml solution for injection is £816 per 100‑microlitre vial (excluding VAT; 'British national formulary' [BNF] edition 52). The manufacturer of aflibercept solution for injection has agreed a patient access scheme with the Department of Health. This involves a confidential discount applied to the list price of aflibercept solution for injection. The level of the discount is commercial in confidence (see section 5.3). The Department of Health considered that this patient access scheme does not constitute an excessive administrative burden on the NHS. The manufacturer has agreed that the patient access scheme will remain in place until any review of this NICE technology appraisal guidance is published.