The National Centre for Clinical Excellence (NICE) last week published new draft guidance that recommends the use of Lucentis (ranibizumab) for the treatment of visual impairment in some cases of diabetic macular odema (DMO).
The draft guidance recommends that people with DMO who have a central media thickness of more than 400 micrometres should be eligible to receive Lucentis on the NHS. A central media thickness of over 400 micrometres usually indicates a more advanced form of DMO. The draft guidelines are expected to be finalised early next year.
The current recommended treatment for DMO is laser surgery, which can slow down or stop further damage occurring but is not usually associated with an improvement in vision. Current research indicates that Lucentis is effective in treating DMO and, significantly, that it meets an unmet need for patients who do not respond well to the current standard laser treatment.
JDRF supported the early development of Lucentis through an innovation grant and has been involved with supporting its progress through NICE. We are pleased that the drug is now available to some people with DMO.
Sarah Johnson, Director of Policy and Communications commented ‘This decision will help people with type 1 who are in danger of losing their sight and we hope that this is the first step in the drug being more widely available to people with DMO.