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Funding decision good news for people with glaucom

Media Release

Funding decision good news for people with glaucoma

People with acute glaucoma will now be able to get a new treatment, following a decision by PHARMAC to fully fund brimonidine tartrate.

PHARMAC has announced that from August it will fully fund eyedrops brimonidine tartrate (brandname Alphagan).

General Manager Wayne McNee says the decision is good news, particularly as it gives another option to those patients who don’t respond to, or can’t tolerate, other forms of treatments. It will be the most easily accessible of three new agents for the treatment of glaucoma.

“The management of glaucoma requires a range of treatments. It has to be good news if the funding of another treatment delays or reduces the need for surgery for these patients.”

Glaucoma is a condition which is usually characterised by an increase in pressure within the eye, which can cause blindness. Glaucoma affects mainly the elderly, and in many cases can go undiagnosed until vision is affected.

It is estimated that between 14,500 to 29,000 people over the age of 40-years-old suffer from glaucoma. However, currently there are about 16,000 people receiving treatment for the condition.

“Based on these estimates it would be fair to suggest that some people with glaucoma aren’t getting diagnosed. Unfortunately this condition often isn’t noticed until the vision becomes affected.”

[ends]

For more information contact Wayne McNee.
Phone: (025) 429-212.

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