Ozurdex, a biodegradable, intravitreal implant containing 700µg of dexamethasone, is associated with a reduced injection frequency compared with other therapies such as VEGF inhibitors.
First approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in 2015, the Allergan-produced therapy is listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS) for the treatment of diabetic macular oedema (DMO).
This includes DMO patients who are pseudophakic or scheduled for cataract surgery and have not responded sufficiently to anti-VEGF therapy, as well as appropriate naïve patients who are unsuitable for anti-VEGF therapy. It is also PBS-listed for branch and central retinal vein occlusion with macular oedema and non-infectious posterior segment uveitis.
The device is implanted by an ophthalmologist via a single use applicator and slowly releases dexamethasone directly to the retina over several months.
DMO is the leading cause of preventable vision loss from diabetes, affecting an estimated 72,000 Australians and costing the national economy more than $2 billion.