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NICE backs innovative eye treatment

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has given the green light to an eye condition treatment in final draft guidance.

NICE has published final draft guidance recommending ocriplasmin (Jetrea, ThromboGenics) as an option for treating some adults with the rare eye condition, vitreomacular traction.

Vitreomacular traction occurs when the vitreous, the gel-like substance in the eye, pulls abnormally on the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye, which is responsible for processing visual images.

The pulling of the gel disturbs the retina, causing swelling and distorted vision, and sometimes a hole in the macular area. It can occur as a result of ageing.

NICE has recommended ocriplasmin as an option for treating vitreomacular traction in adults, if an epiretinal membrane is not present and they have a stage II macular holeii – full thickness with a diameter of 400 micrometres or less – and/or they have severe symptoms.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said: “Ocriplasmin injection represents an innovation in treating patients with vitreomacular traction and, as it provides an alternative to ‘watch and wait’ and/or surgery, would be welcomed by clinicians and patients.”

Final guidance is expected to be published in October.

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