In May last year, Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) secured a significant win for people with macular disease: both major political parties committed to reject the proposed 69% cut to the MBS rebate for intravitreal injections.
Research commissioned by MDFA predicted the cut would have decreased treatment adherence by 22%, leading to an additional 47,000 people experiencing significant visual loss or blindness over the next five years and $2.6 billion in indirect costs to Government.
Following this success, MDFA has commissioned PwC to model potential benefits to governments and people with macular disease if access to treatment is improved.
The full report will be released in May during our Macula Month but we’d like to share important insights on macular disease and IVI adherence with you.
Our report shows one in seven Australians over the age of 50 have evidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This equates to approximately 1.5 million showing signs of AMD. Approximately 80,000 vulnerable Australians receive anti-VEGF injections to save their sight.
The report shows that without accessible and affordable treatment, 20% of patients will cease treatment after one year and 50% over five years. [i]
The impact of rising macular disease rates will severely impact our health systems, carers and patients.
However, our modelling shows that with sensible investment by governments in education, access (especially in rural and remote areas) and supports for Australians on low incomes, there will be substantial benefits, including economic. The report models the persistence rate to calculate the economic benefits.
MDFA is clear in our purpose to reduce the incidence and impact of macular disease through community awareness, early detection, disease management, supportive care, advocacy, and research. We will be taking our report to governments to advocate for the macular disease communities – including health care professionals.
[i] PwC (2019). Impact of IVI rebate changes.