New Drug Approved for Common Cause of Blindness

Despite Lucentis' successful results, some experts still have reservations about this new drug. Its cost might prove problematic for those who need the medication. One dose of Lucentis could cost about $1,500 to $2,500, said de Juan.

Has to Be Injected Into Eyes

Also, many questions have still been left unanswered, such as how long the drug works over time. Two ongoing studies are also under way to evaluate the dosage routine and the safety of doses, Genentech said.

Since the drug needs to be injected into the eyes, "one of the next advances with this drug would be to come up with a less-invasive way to deliver it," Miller said.

Also, there is concern that treating wet AMD will basically just turn it into dry AMD, said Dr. Richard Bensinger, an ophthalmologist from Seattle, who added that "dry AMD is not really treatable with anything."

A combination of certain vitamins can only slow down the progression of degeneration, not stop it.

"Until the molecular trigger for AMD is discovered so that it can be attacked directly, we will be stuck with this disease in increasing amounts as the population ages," Bensinger said.

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