Keratoconus Australia is a not for profit organisation aimed to prevent and control any visual impairment caused by Keratoconus. They have announced they will support the rebate for the cross-linking procedure when approved, as long as clinically proven protocols can demonstrate to be safe and effective long term. Keratoconus Australia President Larry Kornhauser has spoken about his concerns towards the long waiting lists as well as high costs Keratoconic patients face when looking to go ahead with the corneal cross- linking procedure.
“The application to the department of health is probably overdue as many patients are finding it difficult to access this potentially useful procedure because of the high cost, which averages around $2,500 per eye… However there is an increasing range of variations of the procedure, mostly unproven, and patients and their families are bewildered by the array of options being offered by corneal surgeons in Australia.”
Consultant ophthalmologist at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Dr Elsie Chan has been involved in the world’s first randomised controlled clinical trial of corneal cross-linking at Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA). Three years after the Cross-linking procedure in 48 control and 46 treated eyes of patients with progressive keratoconus, found at 36 months there was a sustained improvement in maximum simulated keratometry value, uncorrected visual acuity and best spectacle-corrected visual acuity in the treated group of people, whereas the control group demonstrated further progression.
“Should the proposal proceed for consideration through the Medicare Services Advisory Committee process, a consultation protocol for the application will be published on the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) website and public submissions invited.”
“results showed that cross-linking slowed and might halt progression of Keratoconus with a small risk of complications, and variations to the procedure had been performed”. She also stated at the seminar that ‘’there was no evidence of benefit to those not experiencing demonstrable progression.”