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NICE backs two eye treatments

Novartis’ Lucentis and Alimera’s Iluvien received green light for NHS use
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE logo

The National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence (NICE) today recommended two treatments for eye disorders for use on the NHS in England and Wales.

NICE, which provides guidance on the cost-effectiveness of treatments for NHS use, published final guidance backing both a new indication for Novartis' eye drug Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Alimera Sciences' intravitreal implant Iluvien (fluocinolone acetonide).

The Lucentis guidance covers the use of the medicine to treat sight problems caused by choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) in people with a rare form of short-sightedness known as pathological myopia.

Pathological myopia is a chronic form of myopia, which is characterised by excessive lengthening of the eye. It can lead to growth of abnormal leaky blood vessels in the back of the eye, known as CNV, which can result in severe vision loss.

It is the fourth recommendation Lucentis has received from NICE, adding to its existing indication to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD); diabetes-related macular oedema; and macular oedema caused by a blockage in a vein in the retina.

The final guidance comes one month after NICE published final draft guidance as part of an accelerated process that bypassed public consultation.

As part of the approval, Novartis will have to cover part of the drug's cost through a patient access scheme in order to justify its cost-effectiveness.

Iluvien to treat chronic diabetic macular oedema

NICE also published final guidance recommending the NHS use of Alimera's Iluvien to treat chronic diabetic macular oedema in patients who are insufficiently responsive to current therapies, which include Lucentis.

The guidance also only covers the use of the implant in an eye that has an intraocular lens – an artificial lens implanted in the eye to replace a defected natural lens.

As per the Lucentis guidance, Iluvien will also have to be provided to the NHS at a discount through a patient access scheme.

This discount contributed to NICE's decision to overturn previous guidance that failed to recommend Iluvien.

Article by
Thomas Meek

27th November 2013

From: Sales

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