In New Zealand, from November 1, 2017, Ozurdex (dexamethasone implants) will be funded for eligible people with diabetic macular edema (DMO), a serious complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes that can cause blindness if untreated.
The dexamethasone implants, from Ireland-headquartered Allergan (NYSE: AGN), will be funded for people who have diabetic macular edema, have had cataract surgery and meet the other special authority criteria, says NZ’s Pharmaceutical Management Agency PHARMAC.
PHARMAC director of operations Sarah Fitt says the new treatment is a significant advance in the way diabetic macular oedema is treated for those who meet the criteria.
“The dexamethasone implants are a new type of treatment for DMO that provides longer lasting treatment, that is more convenient for people,” says Ms Fitt, adding: “Before this treatment, people with DMO who have had cataract surgery would need regular injections in their eye at least once a month. This new treatment is a potent steroid that slowly dissolves in the eye over time, and people only need to have this every 3-6 months.”