Global pharmaceutical company Allergan has issued a statement welcoming the recommendation of the use of Ozurdex on patients with non-infectious posterior uveitis by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The recommendation has been made by the body’s Final Appraisal Determination (FAD), recognising the drug as a “cost and clinically-effective treatment option for people with sight-threatening posterior non-infectious posterior uveitis.”
The recommendation comes following NICE’s review of Ozurdex, and if the FAD is confirmed as final guidance, the NHS will be required to offer Ozurdex as a fully-funded treatment option for suitable patients.
Allergan explained that Ozurdex is currently funded for posterior segment uveitis in some parts of the country but not in others, meaning that access to the treatment can be dependent on where the patient lives rather than his or her clinical needs.
Welcoming the recommendation, consultant ophthalmologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, Fahd Quhill, said: “NICE's FAD recognises the value of Ozurdex as a corticosteroid-sparing treatment option and fulfils an unmet need for patients with non-infectious uveitis. If confirmed as guidance, it would mean that the NHS would fund Ozurdex for patients with this condition, which would benefit not only patients themselves but also those treating them. Currently, in many areas in England prescribers can only obtain funding for Ozurdex through a time-consuming process which is not always successful.”
Advocacy policy project officer for the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Jessica Hall, added: “The FAD recommendation by NICE is welcome news for patients. As final guidance, it would mean improved access to treatments, including Ozurdex and their availability in places where this was impossible before. Given that the vision loss associated with uveitis is potentially avoidable, it is right that the NHS pays for treatments that NICE has shown are cost and clinically effective in this area.”