Bayer Australia and Luxottica have partnered in an effort to promote a similar collaborative approach to patient eye care, between different sectors of the eye care industry.
The two companies hosted a series of educational meetings across Australia aimed at ophthalmologists and optometrists, and designed to drive a holistic approach to eye care.
The focus was on the early detection of eye diseases, treatment compliance and patient education, particularly around wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Bayer’s product, Eylea, for the treatment of wet AMD, was made available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in December last year.
It is vital both ophthalmologists and optometrists reinforce to their patients that ongoing monitoring is essential for those undergoing what is lifelong treatment
Fifteen meetings were held across the country between March and June this year, with 15 ophthalmologists and more than 400 optometrists in attendance.
“Clearly both ophthalmologists and optometrists play an important role in bettering the health outcomes for those with wet AMD,” said Dr. Jan Twomey, Medical Director Bayer Australia.
“Enabling the sharing of information between ophthalmologists and optometrists through the Bayer/Luxottica meeting series, while promoting ongoing dialogue, was one way of ensuring Australians have access to a well-educated and cohesive eye health profession committed to best practice care,” Dr. Twomey said.
In addition to facilitating a greater understanding of the prevalence of wet AMD and the possible risk factors for the disease, those in attendance were reminded that diagnosis is a shared responsibility as both professions have the potential to detect wet AMD before it impacts on a person’s sight.
“Coupled with understanding the patient’s history, examining those at risk of macular degeneration, either due to age, lifestyle factors or family history, can often uncover early evidence of the disease before it threatens vision,” explained retinal specialist Dr. Andrew Chang, who spoke at a Sydney-based meeting.
“One in 10 living with macular degeneration may develop neovascular complications. When we have effective treatment options available to us, it is important for eye care professionals at the front-line to catch the disease early. Treatment at this stage potentially can save sight more effectively.
“Furthermore, with Eylea now available for those with wet AMD, it is important eye health professionals have a full understanding of the changing wet AMD treatment landscape, and what this means for their patients.
“It is vital both ophthalmologists and optometrists reinforce to their patients that ongoing monitoring is essential for those undergoing what is lifelong treatment. Compliance is crucial to maintaining sight,” said Dr. Chang.
Luxottica said it partnered with Bayer on the meeting series in recognition of the shared commitment to best practice for the eye care profession.