Photodynamic therapy with verteporfin for age related macular degeneration

Medical Services Advisory Committee
Record ID 32002000072
Authors' objectives:

This report aims to assess the available literature on photodynamic therapy with verteporfin for macular degeneration.

Authors' results and conclusions: The key issues identified from the evaluation of the randomised controlled trial and the reviews included: - the conclusion from the randomised controlled trial that verteporfin is effective is based on the outcomes in a subgroup of the total study population; - the difficulty in diagnosing patients with predominantly classic lesions; - the effect of treatment on patients' quality of life have not been reported; - the lack of evidence of effectiveness beyond two years - repeat treatments are required but the number and frequency beyond two years is unknown; - the number of patients initially screened was not reported, hence the proportion of patients eligible for treatment is not known.
Authors' recommendations: The MSAC has reviewed the evidence relating to photodynamic therapy for macular degeneration (MD) in terms of clinical need, safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. The MSAC recommends that public funding for this therapy should only be supported for patients with predominantly classic (>50% classic) subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation secondary to MD, a small minority of MD cases. For this sub-group of MD patients, there is some evidence that the therapy may retard the rate of visual loss in the short term. As there is insufficient evidence of the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of photodynamic therapy to support funding for this treatment outside the indications outlined above, the Committee also recommends that public funding should only be supported where arrangements are in place to ensure, as far as possible, that the indications in the previous paragraph are met.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 2001
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Australia
MeSH Terms
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Photochemotherapy
Organisation Name: Medical Services Advisory Committee
Contact Address: MSAC (MDP 107), GPO Box 9848, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia. Tel: +61 2 6289 6811; Fax: +61 2 6289 8799.
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.