“Senile maculopathy is not recognized as a chronic pathology. We already have the bill, but everything is still. We are also carrying out communication campaigns with general practitioners and pharmacies for patient self-diagnosis. There is a lack of information, the sharing of treatment pathways”, and furthermore, due to the loss of autonomy due to the reduction of vision, “depression, a condition that slows down the use of treatments, occurs”. Thus Assia Andrao, president of the Retina Italia non-profit association speaking, on behalf of patients, at the online webinar ‘Age-related macular degeneration, emerging needs and crucial health policies for value-based assistance’, created with the unconditional contribution of Roche Italy.
Age-related macular degeneration – it was recalled during the event – is a chronic disease of the retina which represents one of the main causes of blindness, in industrialized countries, in the over 65s. The therapeutic approach of this pathology involves intravitreal injections to be administered in a hospital context, but compared to the 1-8 administrations foreseen per year in clinical studies, patients actually perform 2-4, compromising the effectiveness of the treatment. In this regard, Stanislao Rizzo, director of Ophthalmology at the Catholic University and Policlinico Gemelli Irccs, in his speech, observes that “the health facilities are not adequate, they are overcrowded, have an impressive load and the disease is growing exponentially”.
Often, adherence is compromised, on the one hand, “due to a system problem – remembers Andrao – the patients say they did not understand what the specialist explained” and, on the other, “they don’t feel like weighing themselves down on the caregiver, make the child, the family member lose days of work”, so they skip a treatment. “The lack of sharing of the therapeutic path causes non-adherence to therapies and damages at a clinical level. More than the fear of the injection – he continues – people, after a certain age, don’t want to worry and underestimate the effect of a missed injection”.
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