The Foundation welcomes the news that Ozurdex (dexamethasone implant) has been recommended for PBS listing for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) in people who have already had cataract surgery or are scheduled to have cataract surgery, and:
1) have a contraindication to a VEGF inhibitor, or
2) have failed to respond to a VEGF inhibitor, or
3) where a VEGF inhibitor is otherwise unsuitable.
Ozurdex is a steroid that is delivered in a slow-release implant placed inside the eye.
Julie Heraghty, CEO, Macular Disease Foundation Australia said, "The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee is to be congratulated for recommending PBS reimbursement for a new class of treatment for an important and potentially blinding disease. This decision is good news for many patients and gives ophthalmologists another option when the first line treatments are either ineffective or not appropriate."
DME is a manifestation of diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes and the leading cause of blindness among working age adults in Australia.
A date for general availability is not yet known.
22 April 2016