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Ozurdex to be PBS listed for diabetic macular oedema

Macular Disease Foundation Australia welcomes the news that Ozurdex® (dexamethasone implant) will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 November 2016. The PBS listing allows Ozurdex to be used in people with diabetic macular oedema who have already had cataract surgery or are scheduled to have cataract surgery, and:

  • have a contraindication to a VEGF inhibitor, or
  • have failed to respond to a VEGF inhibitor, or
  • where a VEGF inhibitor is otherwise unsuitable.

Ozurdex is a steroid that is delivered in a slow release implant placed inside the eye. Based on clinical trial data, the effect of each implant typically lasts between four and six months. Patients with diabetic macular oedema should talk to their ophthalmologist regarding the various treatment options, including whether Ozurdex may be suitable, given there are certain restrictions to its use.

Macular Disease Foundation Australia, Chief Executive Officer, Julie Heraghty said, "The Federal Government should be congratulated for reimbursing another important treatment option for people with sight-threatening diabetic macular oedema. This is the first treatment in a new class of therapy for diabetic macular oedema and may provide certain patients with a more appropriate option when anti-VEGF treatments are either ineffective or not appropriate. Having more treatment options available means that doctors have greater choice and flexibility to find the most appropriate treatment for more people."

"As always, I would like to remind everyone with diabetes that they need to have an eye test at least every two years, or more often if recommended by their eye care professional. The longer you have had diabetes, the higher the risk that you will develop eye disease. Early detection is critical to ensure that good vision is preserved," said Ms Heraghty.

31 October 2016

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