Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited, degenerative eye disease. People diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa slowly become blind because of the breakdown and loss of photoreceptor cells in the retina (the eye).
Many drugs have been tested to try to treat retinitis pigmentosa, but unfortunately, none have worked very well.
Approximately 4,000 patients in Ontario have some form of retinitis pigmentosa and approximately 100 to 300 patients would be eligible for the Argus II retinal prosthesis system in Ontario.
Health Quality Ontario Reviews the Retinal Prosthesis System
A new device called a retinal prosthesis is implanted inside a patient’s eye during surgery with the goal of improving eyesight. Argus II is the only retinal prosthesis system licenced by Health Canada. This review looked at how well the Argus II system works, and how safe it is for patients. It also looked at how much the Argus II system costs. The review also involved a consultation with patients to find out what it is like to have retinitis pigmentosa, and what it is like to have the Argus II implant.
This topic will soon be reviewed again by Health Quality Ontario, as per the recommendation.