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Easier access to glaucoma drops

Easier access to glaucoma drops

People with the progressive eye disease glaucoma will find it easier to obtain eye drops under changes being made by PHARMAC.

From 1 September PHARMAC will be removing the Special Authority from glaucoma eye drops bimatoporost, latanoprost and travoprost, and prescribing will instead be subject to a guideline.

Special Authority is a targeting mechanism to help ensure medicines are used by people who meet specific funding criteria. Replacing the Special Authority with a prescribing guideline will reduce the workload of doctors prescribing these eye drops, says PHARMAC’s Medical Director Dr Peter Moodie.

“We know that prescribers can find the requirement to fill out Special Authority forms to be onerous, so moves such as this are to be welcomed,” says Dr Moodie.

“We are also looking at other ways in which we can reduce the administrative workload on clinicians, and improve New Zealanders’ access to subsidised medicines.”

The eye drops bimatoprost, latanoprost and travoprost are used by about 10,000 New Zealanders, at a cost of over $3 million per annum. They are among the range of treatments available to treat glaucoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness for New Zealanders.

The products will continue to be prescribed by specialists.

ENDS

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