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Novartis launches another localised NHS eye service in UK

Will provide specialised care to people of Coventry
Novartis launch NHS eye service

Novartis has chosen Coventry to launch another programme to support the NHS in England to provide eyecare services in local areas.

The new service, which launches today, is based at the University Hospital in Coventry and will help to improve access to eye health services for people in the area.

It follows similar collaborations between Novartis and the NHS in Bristol, the south of England and in Cardiff, where Novartis also supports NHS eye clinics, including a mobile unit. 

The new services in Coventry provides care for conditions such as wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), visual impairment due to diabetic macular oedema (DMO) or visual impairment due to retinal vein occlusion (RVO).

Previously people with these conditions would have to travel to Rugby in order to get specialised treatment.

Andy Hard, CEO of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, added: “Our partnership with Novartis allowed us to buy new equipment and renovate the room. It means that we can now offer patients treatment for retinal eye conditions in Coventry as well as Rugby, improving access for patients across our area.”

Frederic Guerard, managing director for Novartis UK and Ireland, added: “The launch of this new service in Coventry is the result of the strong joint working partnership between Novartis and University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, which manages the hospital.”

Novartis' main product in the area is Lucentis, which is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to treat wet AMD – the leading cause of blindness in the UK - among other eye conditions.

The drug was the dominant force in wet AMD treatment for some time, although is now facing a challenge from Bayer's Eylea (aflibercept), which was recommended in 2013.

Novartis gained a boost in September when it received a UK licence for Lucentis to be used without monthly monitoring, meaning the recommended regimen for the drug is one injection per month for three consecutive months, without a follow-up for visual acuity every month at a hospital.

The update was significant for Novartis as Eylea is recommended as a monthly treatment for three consecutive doses, followed by one injection every two months.

This month it was announced that Bayer and Regeneron are to develop a second treatment for wet AMD.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

28th January 2015

From: Sales, Healthcare

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