NICE recommends funding for Iluvien to treat chronic DME patients

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In its final appraisal determination, the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended funding for Iluvien for the treatment of pseudophakic eyes in chronic diabetic macular edema (DME) patients that are insufficiently responsive to available therapies.

In its final appraisal determination, the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended funding for Iluvien (Alimera Sciences Inc., Atlanta) for the treatment of pseudophakic eyes in chronic diabetic macular edema (DME) patients that are insufficiently responsive to available therapies.

The final draft guidance reverses the published guidance issued by NICE in January and takes into consideration a simple patient access scheme submitted by Alimera. In addition, NICE reviewed Alimera's updated data analysis showing Iluvien’s cost effectiveness among a subgroup of chronic DME patients who have an eye that is considered pseudophakic.

NICE's final guidance regarding reimbursement of Iluvien within the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Wales is expected in November 2013.

"I am very pleased that my chronic DME patients will soon have access through the NHS to Iluvien as a treatment option," said Moin Mohamed, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London. "Vision is precious and a major contributor to a patient's overall quality of life. This recommendation from NICE gives chronic pseudophakic DME patients, who have exhausted all other treatment options, renewed hope. Ultimately, I would like to see Iluvien made available to all people with chronic DME."

"The NICE recommendation is a welcome development for chronic DME patients across England and Wales," added Robin Hamilton, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London. "With this determination, these patients will have access through NHS to a long-term, sustained-release option for achieving improved visual acuity."

Dan Myers, Alimera's president and CEO, pointed out that the positive recommendation from NICE was excellent news for the company, as it will require the NHS to make funding available for Iluvien in England and Wales.

"We plan to continue to work with NICE in an effort to broaden access to Iluvien to include all chronic DME patients who could benefit from the treatment," added Myers.

Iluvien, a sustained-release intravitreal implant, has received marketing authorization in the United Kingdom, Austria, Portugal, Germany, France and Spain, and is pending in Italy. Iluvien is commercially available in the United Kingdom and Germany.

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