Breaking News on Macular Degeneration
Advocacy Win on PBS
An additional 4,500 patients will be able to access subsidised medicine to treat macular disease, with a change to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing for two key medicines.
The federal government’s decision to widen the number of macular conditions that can receive a subsidy for the drugs Ranibzimab (Lucentis) and Dexamethasone (Ozurdex) is a big win for the macular disease community. According to the federal government, an additional 3,300 patients per year will be able to access Ozurdex and a further 1,200 patients will be able to access Lucentis.
The cost savings on the medicine for these additional patients are significant. It is estimated the cost for Lucentis will drop from $7,000 over a year to $39.50 per script, or $6.40 with concession. Ozurdex and Lucentis are already used by ophthalmologists but the PBS was limited to selected conditions. The expanded listing for Lucentis means that subsidised medicine is available for macular conditions, similar to wet age related macular degeneration, where abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula, causing loss of central vision. The expanded listing for a greater number of macular conditions will allow more people than ever before to access subsidised medicine.