Report shows need for more investment in macular disease research
A Deloitte Access Economics Report commissioned by the Macular Disease Foundation Australia entitled Eyes on the future: A clear outlook on age-related macular degeneration, provides the most current, comprehensive compilation of macular degeneration statistics and latest research ever undertaken in Australia.
Report key findings:
- In 2010, approximately one million Australians over 50 years had some evidence of macular degeneration
- This number will rise by over 70 per cent to 1.7 million in the next 20 years
- Approximately 17 per cent of these people with macular degeneration could potentially lose vision in the absence of treatment and prevention efforts
- By 2030, the number of those with late stage disease (vision loss) could double from 167,000 to 330,000; in the absence of treatment and prevention efforts
- Prevention and treatment includes early detection, uptake of treatment, adoption of eye health diet and lifestyle behaviours and smoking cessation
- In relation to age-related macular degeneration, a saving of approximately $247 million per year could be made if cigarette smoking was halved
- In 2010, the total economic cost of vision loss associated with age-related macular degeneration was in excess of $5 billion. This includes health system costs, other financial costs and loss of wellbeing
- For every $1 invested in the current treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration, there has been a $2 saving in social benefit costs.
Macular Degeneration Foundation CEO, Ms Julie Heraghty said, “This report on macular degeneration reinforces the need for greater investment in research. Macular degeneration affects one in seven Australians over 50 in some way. It is responsible for 50 per cent of all blindness; more than glaucoma and cataracts combined.
“The macular degeneration landscape has changed significantly over the past decade; primarily with dramatic improvement in treatment and new insights into the role of diet and genetic factors. These advances were only possible thanks to research.
“This report complements our significant initial research commitment of nearly three-quarters of a million dollars. We know research works and sooner or later we will find a cure through research,” said Heraghty.
Posted: 12 October 2011