Government urged to act
Macular Degeneration Foundation CEO, Julie Heraghty today welcomed a Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) report into impacts of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
CERA launched a leading report and dynamic economic model of the impacts of AMD which is the leading cause of blindness in Australia. The report is titled ‘Centrally Focussed: The Impact of Age-Related Macular Degeneration’ by CERA and Deloitte Access Economics.
The report and model, generated by Deloitte Access Economics examines the impacts of AMD and the current and future costs to Australia. The study revealed that AMD costs Australians A$2.6 billion a year. A new treatment that could reduce the progression rate by only 10 per cent would save A$5.7 billion over the next 20 years.
Ms Heraghty stated, “MD is the leading cause of blindness in this country and is silently taking away the sight of Australia’s ageing population. The Macular Degeneration Foundation aims to reduce the incidence and impact of MD in Australia through providing education, awareness, research, support services and advocacy.”
“As early as March 2004 the Foundation informed the Government of the costs and consequences of this disease, which has now escalated as outlined in the report released today by the Centre for Eye Research.”
“This report highlights the need for a call to action by the Government to invest in research and to support the accessibility and affordability of treatment options.”
“If you are in danger of losing your sight, which can affect your quality of life and independence, you should have access to the most effective treatment.”
”The government can not afford not to act on the devastating economic impact of this disease on the Australian community.”
“For the macular disease community the loss of vision and the impact of blindness are compounded by the accompanying risk of depression, social isolation, loss of independence, fracture, falls and the possible need for aged care.”
Posted: 9 February 2006