A new drug treatment for some diabetes patients with a form of eye disease known as macular oedema (or macular edema) could soon be available in the UK.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recently recommended the injectable drug Iluvien for the treatment of chronic diabetic macular edema (DME) in patients who have already undergone cataract surgery and do not respond well to other forms of treatments, giving them renewed hope for improved vision and a much better quality of life
In its Final Appraisal Determinatio, NICE announced that it had reviewed updated data from manufacturer Alimera Sciences showing Iluvien’s cost effectiveness among a subgroup of chronic DME patients who have an eye that is considered pseudophakic (one that has already undergone cataract surgery).
According to Alimera, NICE is expected to publish its final guidance regarding the availability of the sustained release intravitreal implant through the National Health Service in England and Wales next month.
“This is excellent news for Alimera, as this positive recommendation from NICE will require the National Health Service (NHS) to make funding available for Iluvien in England and Wales,” said Dan Myers, President and CEO of the Georgia-based biopharmaceutical company.
“We plan to continue to work with NICE in an effort to broaden access to Iluvien to include all chronic DME patients who could benefit from the treatment.
“The NICE recommendation is a welcome development for chronic DME patients across England and Wales,” commented Robin Hamilto, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London.
“With this determination, these patients will have access through NHS to a long-term, sustained release option for achieving improved visual acuity. Iluvien can have a significantly positive impact on their lives.”
Diabetic Macular Oedema occurs when damaged blood vessels on the retina leak fluid onto the macula, the part of the eye responsible for our central vision, making it extremely difficult for you to read or see fine details.

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