NICE backs AMD drug use on NHS

Patients in England suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are to be given access to the sight-saving drug Lucentis on the NHS, NICE has announced.

Previously NICE had said that patients should wait until they go blind in one eye before being given access to the drug, despite it being widely available and funded for patients in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The decision marks a unique agreement between NICE and Novartis, the manufacturer of Lucentis.

The agreement will see NHS fund only the first 14 injections of the drug, with Novartis agreeing to pay the cost of any further injections.

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