Product reimbursed by the PBS from 1st January 2023
Vabysmo® (faricimab) is now available in ophthalmology clinics across Australia following news that the product is reimbursed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular oedema from 1st January 2023.
Vabysmo® (faricimab) was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in August 2022 following a positive recommendation by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee in May. Both panels considered data from four large phase 3 clinical trials – TENAYA and LUCERNE for nAMD, and YOSEMITE and RHINE for diabetic macular oedema.
Findings from the four clinical trials indicate that patients may be able to extend the treatment interval to 12 weeks or beyond, potentially reducing treatment burden and increasing adherence and persistence.
On receiving confirmation of the announcement, Macular Disease Foundation Australia CEO, Dr. Kathy Chapman stated, “for those people in our community receiving treatment for neo-vascular age-related macular degeneration, the opportunity to have access to more therapies is welcoming news.
We know that 20% of people receiving sight-saving eye injections will stop treatment in the first year. This number increases to 50% by year five.
Access and affordability are two key factors in these non-adherence statistics. The reimbursement of Vabysmo on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is another step in the right direction to support people living with nAMD”.
As with all new treatment options, the decision to start or switch between anti-VEGF therapies requires careful consideration of risks and benefits. People who have been advised to start or are currently receiving eye injections for nAMD should have a conversation with your ophthalmologist, who will be able to discuss with you whether the new treatment may be appropriate.
Posted: 13 January 2023
2. Heier et al. Efficacy, durability, and safety of intravitreal faricimab up to every 16 weeks for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (TENAYA and LUCERNE): two randomised, double-masked, phase 3, non-inferiority trials. Lancet 2022 epub. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00010-1
3. Wykoff et al. Efficacy, durability, and safety of intravitreal faricimab with extended dosing up to every 16 weeks in patients with diabetic macular oedema (YOSEMITE, RHINE): two randomised, double-masked, phase 3 trials. Lancet 2022 epub. doi: /10.1016/ S0140-6736(22)00018-6 4. PwC (2020). Estimating the costs and associated impact of new models of care for intravitreal injections