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Bausch and Lomb, University of Iowa Team Up to Cure Blindness Disease

by Lynn Shapiro, Writer | February 18, 2009

"Using Retisert, we are stabilizing vision in patients with sympathetic ophthalmia and getting them off the heavy-duty immunosuppressive medications," Mahajan said. "Patients had been willing to put up with the serious side effects of systemic immunosuppression because if they lost vision in their remaining good eye, it would be totally life-altering. With Retisert, we can save the eye, and the side effects are limited to treatable risks of high pressure or cataracts in the eye."

While each implant costs approximately $20,000, their use appears to be less expensive over the long-run compared to systemic immunosuppressive drugs and the required frequent hospital visits.

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"If you add up the total number of patient visits, costs of lab tests and the costs of the immunosuppressive drugs, the $20,000 for the device is cheaper," Mahajan said.

Mahajan and colleagues are reaching out to retinal surgeons nationwide to make them aware of this new treatment option for patients with sympathetic ophthalmia.

Source: University of Iowa

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