National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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NICE says yes to two eye treatments for treating serious diabetic eye condition in final draft guidance

NICE has recommended aflibercept solution for injection (Eylea, Bayer Pharma), and dexamethasone intravitreal(i) implant (Ozurdex, Allergan) as possible treatment options for some people with diabetic macular oedema, in two separate pieces of final draft guidance published yesterday (2 June).

Diabetic macular oedema is a common complication associated with diabetic retinopathy, and is the most common cause of visual impairment in people with diabetes. It develops when blood vessels in the eye are damaged by a continuously high blood sugar level, causing plasma to leak into the eye. Abnormal new blood vessels also form under the retina. This causes a build-up of excess fluid (oedema) in the macular, which is the central part of the retina. The oedema impairs light perception, causing blurred vision. If it is not treated effectively, it can lead to irreversible vision loss.

The final draft guidance recommends aflibercept solution for injection as a treatment option in people only if:

  • the eye has a central retinal thickness of 400 micrometres or more at the start of treatment, and
  • the company provides aflibercept with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme.

Aflibercept is a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor. It prevents abnormal new blood vessels from forming under the retina. It also helps treat swelling in the retina caused by oedema. 

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