For the first time, Australians with severe keratitis with dry eye disease will be able to access Ikervis® (ciclosporin) as a new treatment option through the PBS. Severe keratitis is inflammation of the cornea and is characterised by damage or lesions on the corneal surface. Dry eye disease is a common ocular condition that is characterised by dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea and patients can experience reduced tear production or tear film instability, which leads to discomfort and visual disability.
How long does it take to work?
You may notice that Ikervis starts to have an effect in as little as two weeks. However, most people take around six-to-twelve weeks to notice a difference.
What is the cost of Ikervis?
If you qualify for the PBS criteria, the cost is subsidised by Medicare. For patients who do not meet the PBS criteria, the RRP of Ikervis is $81.90 per month as a non PBS prescription. This RRP is a guide only and it is up to your individual pharmacy to set their own prices.
Do I qualify for the PBS Criteria?
To be eligible for Ikervis under the PBS, you must meet the following criteria
- a Corneal Fluorescein Staining (CFS) grading of 4 at treatment initiation using the Oxford scale or equivalent;
- an Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) score of greater than or equal to 23; and
- the condition must not be adequately controlled by monotherapy with a preservative-free artificial tear substitute.
This means that a PBS prescription for Ikervis remains restricted to patients with the most severe form of dry eye. It also means that a large number of patients who may benefit from Ikervis would have to obtain a non PBS (private) prescription from a qualified optometrist.