Novartis drug recommended by NICE
27 August 2008 00:00 in Pharmaceutical Company Product News
Novartis has announced the final guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended its drug Lucentis (ramibizumab) as a cost-effective treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The company said Lucentis is the only approved therapy to demonstrate improvement in vision and vision-related function in the majority of patients suffering from wet AMD.
It added the decision from NICE secures access to novel medication for eligible patients in England and Wales with this disease.
Novartis notes wet AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people aged over 50.
The NICE decision comes at the end of a robust review which assessed the potential benefits of the availability of Lucentis weighed against the cost of the drug.
Winfried Amoaju, vice-president of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said: "The final guidance is excellent news for patients with wet AMD who are in need of access to this highly effective treatment."
He added the full implementation of the institute's decision will guarantee patients have access to the drug for as long they need it to improve or maintain their vision.
In June 2007, Novartis noted that Lucentis had been recommended by NICE for use in wet AMD patients with the classic subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation form of the disease with both eyes affected by the condition, with the drug administered in the better-seeing eye.
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency