Dexamethasone for Uveitis on PBS
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists is pleased with the announced introduction of dexamethasone (Ozurdex®) as a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) authority prescription for non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment.
The inclusion of the medication on the PBS means that approved patients will not have to pay the full price for the medication. Before 1 April 2018, patients living with uveitis who are prescribed dexamethasone may have needed to pay over $2,700 per course for the treatment and management of the condition. From 1 April 2018, approved patients are able to purchase the medication with access to the PBS maximum patient co-payment rate of $39.50 per course of treatment, or at $6.40 concession.
RANZCO advocated for the inclusion of dexamethasone onto the PBS, in order to allow uveitis patients access to a potentially vision-saving medication. In the decision of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, RANZCO’s comments to the PBAC were noted as part of the positive consideration. Earlier this week, Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed the inclusion of dexamethasone for non-infections uveitis on the PBS, as per the PBAC recommendation.
RANZCO is delighted by this outcome and will continue to work with the Department of Health to drive improvements in eye health care in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.