The Federal Government has allocated $3 million to fighting macular degeneration.
The Federal Government has allocated $3 million to fighting macular degeneration. ClarkandCompany

Govt commits $3 million towards targeting macular disease

AUSTRALIANS grappling with macular disease will soon benefit from a $3 million investment by the Federal Government.

The funding will assist with the awareness, support and management of the condition, which is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in older people.

As many as one in seven Australians over the age of 50 experiences some degree of degenerative retinal eye disease.

This causes a loss of central vision and the ability to recognise faces, read, drive and carry out many other critical activities in daily life. Early detection is vital to help slow progression.

The funding package includes:

  • $1.5 million over four years to increase awareness of the risk factors of macular disease; $1 million of this will go directly to Macular Disease Foundation Australia, the peak organisation for people living with macular disease.
  • $1.5 million will be provided to appropriate organisations to deliver health professional awareness and education for the management of macular degeneration.

In 2018, the Government commissioned a National Strategic Action Plan for Macular Disease led by the Macular Disease Foundation Australia.

A focus was placed on the prevention, early detection and treatment of macular disease, support for sufferers, and improved data collection and research.

Several medications used in the treatment of age-related macular disease are subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. They include Ranibizumab, Aflibercept and Verteporfin.

Specific services in relation to the treatment of macular disease are also available through the Medical Benefits Schedule.

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