Visudyne Therapy (Verteporfin) – Continue funding

Funding of $139.8 million has been allocated to continue to subsidise Visudyne Therapy which assists in the treatment of macular degeneration.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why is this important?

  • Macular degeneration affects around 10,000 Australians, and can eventually lead to blindness. This programme will continue to subsidise Visudyne therapy for the treatment of the predominantly classic form of macular degeneration in eligible patients.

Who will benefit?

  • Around 1,750 patients per annum.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • $139.8 million has been allocated over the next four years for the cost of Visudyne and the associated medical fee.

What has been done in the past?

  • In the 2002-03 Budget, the Government provided funding for Visudyne therapy. This funding included an agreement between the Department and the product’s manufacturer to provide the dye at no cost to eligible patients as well as the introduction of new Medicare items to cover the medical service. Further funding of $0.5 million was announced in the 2005-06 Budget to raise the awareness of macular degeneration in the community.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • This is an ongoing initiative.

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