NICE recommends Novartis’ eye care drug for use on NHS

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Alcon’s Jetrea as a clinically and cost-effective treatment option for eligible patients suffering from vitreomacular traction including when associated with macular hole. Alcon is the global leader in eye care and the second largest division of Novartis.

“We are very pleased by the NICE decision, as Jetrea® represents a breakthrough treatment option for patients in the UK, which is now recommended for use in the NHS. At Alcon, we aim to deliver positive patient outcomes through innovative medicines and medical devices. We work closely with doctors and health care providers to shape the future of eye care and offer solutions to address unmet patient needs.”

Stuart Raetzman, Area President Europe, Middle East and Africa, Alcon.

Vitreomacular traction and macular hole is an age-related, sight-threatening condition that may lead to visual distortion and central blindness.

Up to now, the clinical approach for treating vitreomacular traction has been ‘watchful waiting,’ meaning patients undergo a period of observation before they become eligible for eye surgery due to worsening of their condition. Due to the potential risks and complications, surgery is mostly reserved for patients who are heavily impacted by the symptoms of vitreomacular traction.

With this final NICE guidance, Jetrea (ocriplasmin) is now recommended for use within the NHS in England and Wales as the first and only pharmacological treatment for this sight-threatening eye condition.

“People affected by vitreomacular traction can suffer vision changes that have a significant impact on their lives, making it difficult to do everyday activities like reading, watching TV and driving. Until now, eye doctors have only had surgical options to treat this disease, once it progressed to a severe stage. This new treatment is a welcome advance, meaning some patients can now avoid surgery, and others who might not be suitable for surgery can now be treated.”

Tim Jackson, Retinal Surgeon at King’s College Hospital.



Related news:

NICE recommendation for Jetrea (Optometry Today)

Reference links:

Novartis press release

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