UK's NICE clears path of Iluvien for patient availability

December 2, 2013

The United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published its final guidance for a sustained-release intravitreal implant (Iluvien), clearing the path to patient availability through the National Health Service (NHS).

 

London-The United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published its final guidance for a sustained-release intravitreal implant (Iluvien), clearing the path to patient availability through the National Health Service (NHS).

Patients, who have a pseudophakic eye, will now have greater access to the sustained-release intravitreal implant for the treatment of chronic diabetic macular edema (DME) considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies.

Alimera Sciences Inc., Atlanta, is the developer of the sustained-release intravitreal implant.

"Vision plays such a significant role in a person's overall enjoyment of life," said Winfried Amoaku, an associate professor and consultant ophthalmologist with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. "I am pleased that pseudophakic patients with chronic DME will now have access through NHS to an effective, sustained-release therapy that could improve their sight and give them back some of the essential daily activities, such as driving and reading, that DME has taken away."

NICE requires clinical commissioning groups, NHS England, and local public health authorities to comply with the recommendations in the final guidance within three months of its date of publication. Alimera is communicating closely with retinal specialists, hospital pharmacists, and commissioners throughout the U.K. with the goal of making the implant available to suitable patients quickly. 

"The NICE endorsement . . . is a significant milestone for NHS patients suffering from chronic DME," said Dan Myers, president and chief executive officer of Alimera Sciences. "These patients, insufficiently responsive to other options, now have a new treatment available to them. We hope the NHS commissioners will recognize this critical need and list [the sustained-release intravitreal implant] on hospital formularies without delay."

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