Physician Utilization Patterns for VEGF-Inhibitor Drugs in the 2012 United States Medicare Population: Bevacizumab, Ranibizumab, and Aflibercept.

Journal Article (Multicenter Study;Journal Article)

Background and objective

To evaluate variation in physician use of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors.

Patients and methods

Population-based analysis of comprehensive, publicly available 2012 Medicare claims, aggregated by physician specialty and service type - including intravitreal injections of bevacizumab (Avastin; Genentech, South San Francisco, CA), ranibizumab (Lucentis; Genetech, South San Francisco, CA), and aflibercept (Eylea; Regeneron, Tarrytown, NY). Physicians were characterized by total patients treated, proportion treated with each drug, total intravitreal injection payments, and proportion of total payments for each drug.


The authors identified 2,869 ophthalmologists. On average, each treated 203 patients with VEGF-inhibitors, 75.9% of which were treated with bevacizumab. Using all three agents was the most common practice (1,121 physicians), closely followed by using bevacizumab only (1,061 physicians). Ranibizumab accounted for most payments, but bevacizumab was the largest payment source for a sizeable proportion of physicians who used only/mostly bevacizumab.


Most ophthalmologists use multiple VEGF inhibitors, but vary in their relative use. A subset of ophthalmologists predominantly use ranibizumab, but ophthalmologists overall use more bevacizumab despite financial incentives favoring ranibizumab. [Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2016;47:555-562.].

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Baisiwala, S; Bundorf, MK; Pershing, S

Published Date

  • June 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 555 - 562

PubMed ID

  • 27327285

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2325-8179

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2325-8160

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3928/23258160-20160601-07


  • eng