NACCHO leads PBS listing of medication to improve eye health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is proud to have led a successful submission to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) for an expansion to the listing of Prednefrin Forte on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

NACCHO workedwith a range of experts and stakeholders to seek listing of Prednefrin Forte onthe PBS for treatment of post-operative eye-inflammation. This listing willmean that there is a greater range and better affordability ofanti-inflammatory eye drops for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanderpeople.

Eye disease is more common in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanderpeople compared to other Australians; eye health outcomes are poorer andcataracts more prevalent. Prednefrin Forte (prednisolone and phenylephrine eyedrops) is a medication used to treat eye inflammation and swelling that is oftenconsidered first-line therapy by ophthalmologists after cataract surgery. It has advantageous properties and pack sizewhen compared to other similar medicines.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people areoverrepresented in rates of eye disease and vision problems. They are amongstthe most common long-term health conditions reported by our communities andmost of the vision loss associated with these issues is preventable,” said Dr Dawn Casey, Deputy CEO of NACCHO.

“This successful collaboration with experts andindustry is important to NACCHO as access to the right medication and the bestmedical treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, is our toppriority. In order to close the gap in health rates and experiences, more actionslike this in the right direction must be made.”

Allergan Managing Director,Nathalie McNeil said, “It has been a pleasure for Allergan to collaborate withNACCHO on this PBAC submission. We are excited about Prednefrin Forte’scontribution towards improved health outcomes for the Aboriginal and TorresStrait Islander communities.”

Vision 2020 Australia CEO Judith Abbott said, “Aboriginal and Torres StraitIslander people currently experience blindness and low vision at three timesthe rate of non-Indigenous Australians.

“As Strong eyes, strong communities: a five-year plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health and vision highlights, improving access to timely, culturally sensitive and affordable eye health care is of vital importance. We welcome this change to current drug scheduling, which will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access a broader and more affordable range of eye medications, when they are needed.”

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