Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Sight-saving drugs finally approved in NHS

  • 1 Comment

All patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) will get sight-saving drugs on the NHS, following a U-turn by the government's clinical watchdog.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today agreed it will fund the use of ranibizumab (Lucentis) for the treatment of AMD.

This reverses their controversial decision of last summer that patients should go blind in one eye before qualifying for the treatment.

Under this new guidance the NHS will cover the cost of ranibizumab for the first 14 injections in each eye being treated. If further injections are needed, the manufacturer, Novartis, will cover the cost.

However NICE did not recommend pegaptanib (Macugen) for the treatment of wet AMD.

Andrew Dillon, NICE Chief Executive, said: ‘Lucentis is an expensive drug, costing more than £10,000 for each eye treated. But that cost needs to be balanced against the likely cost savings. AMD results in reduced quality of life and increased risks of illness, particularly in relation to accidents – especially falls – and psychological ill-health.’

The drug is already available in Scotland, with Wales and Northern Ireland saying this will fund it. This new guidance means that all patients suitable for the treatment will have the same access to it, irrespective of where they live.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Our Trust has been given the go ahead to give this drug since August 07, and from earlier this year in either eye I am proud that the PCT had the foresite to do this and has helped a huge amount of patients.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs