Do clinical trial results give the same results in real life?

Not according to a recent analysis of anti-VEGF treatments for diabetic macular edema.
A research team looked at the medical records of almost 6,000 patients that received anti-VEGF injections between the years of 2011-2016. They found the results between real life vs. clinical trials were different.
Different how?
  1. Real life patients were given fewer injections than in the clinical trial (average of 8.5 injections instead of 9.5 over a year).
  2. All three drugs (Avastin, Eylea, and Lucentis) produced the same outcomes in real life, unlike clinical trials in which Eylea was shown to be more effective.
What was similar in real life and clinical trials?
Patients who started off with the worst visual acuity improved the most.
So, why is real life different?
The authors theorize that “patients and physicians face more challenges outside of the rarefied atmosphere of these trials. The injections are uncomfortable, and many patients are elderly and often have other health problems that make it hard for them to get to appointments.”  (via)

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