Glaucoma, Local, News, Therapies

Australia to boast APAC region’s fastest-growing MIGS market

Australia MIGS market

The MIGS devices market in Australia is set to be the fastest-growing in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, buoyed by the Federal Government’s 2020 decision to reimburse MIGS as a standalone procedure, according to a new report.

Data and analytics company GlobalData’s latest report on the glaucoma surgery devices market for 2015-2030 predicts 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) devices between 2022 and 2030. Australia will be followed by New Zealand at 5% growth and Taiwan at 4.5%.

During the past eight years, MIGS has worked its way into the glaucoma treatment paradigm, proving efficient in the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP), as well as demonstrating enhanced safety, rapid recovery and reduced dependency on medications.

GlobalData reported MIGS devices allow for personalised treatment for mild-to-moderate glaucoma. According to Tham et al., the number of people with glaucoma worldwide is expected to reach 112 million in 2040, with GlobalData figures showing APAC accounts for the largest number of glaucoma cases worldwide, despite having a lower disease prevalence.

Australia surgeons began using MIGS in 2014 but this was performed under MBS item 42758 (goniotomy). Its popularity soared from 138 claims in 2013/14 to 3,809 in 2016/17, which prompted the government to step in and change the descriptor and effectively halt its use in a large proportion of glaucoma patients.

Following extensive advocacy from the sector, the issue was partially addressed in October 2018 when the government approved a new item number but limited its availability to those simultaneously undergoing cataract surgery.

Ophthalmologists believed the measure didn’t go far enough, which led to the current item number 42504, introduced in May 2020, which allows for standalone MIGS or micro-bypass glaucoma surgery (MBGS). Australia subsequently became the world’s first universal healthcare system to allow this.

“MIGS is yet to be approved as a standalone procedure in other APAC countries,” GlobalData medical devices analyst Ms Chetna Kaushik said.

“MIGS, being approved as standalone procedure, provides benefits such as reduced operative time, less scarring, fewer operative complications and faster recovery. Intrusive procedures such as trabeculectomy and tube shunt surgery, on the other hand, takes approximately six weeks for recovery and could result in complications such as infection, internal eye bleeding and even permanent loss of vision.”

The report also noted other drivers of Australia MIGS market growth including government initiatives, growing awareness of minimally invasive procedures among patients, and the country’s ageing population.

“The Australian government has been fully supportive of MIGS. As well as making MIGS a standalone procedure, the country’s Medicare has been providing reimbursements for MIGS,” Kaushik said.

“The Australian Government’s Medical Benefit Scheme might provide public funding for Nova Eye Medical’s iTrack to be approved as standalone MIGS procedure. This support will significantly boost the MIGS devices market.

“Further, the advantages MIGS offers over traditional therapies is also contributing towards growth. For example, MIGS has been proved to be effective in lowering IOP in individuals with low-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma, a common subset of glaucoma.”

Ophthalmic device companies Glaukos Corp, Ivantis and AbbVie currently provide MIGS devices for the Australian market.

“Such innovative developments will only increase competition between existing players and help drive the MIGS devices market to grow at an even faster rate in the future,” Kaushik added.

More reading

Sector embraces government approval of standalone MIGS

Aussie firm pushes for Medicare wording change to standalone MIGS

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