NICE recommends ranibizumab for NHS

April 29, 2013

Ranibizumab has been recommended for use within the NHS in England and Wales to treat macular oedema (ME) secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO).

Ranibizumab has been recommended for use within the NHS in England and Wales to treat macular oedema (ME) secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO).

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued a positive Final Appraisal Determination (FAD) outcome for ranibizumab as a treatment option for patients suffering from ME due to CRVO or BRVO where laser treatment would not be beneficial or appropriate. This is the third recommendation for ranibizumab, following approvals from the Scottish Medicines Consotrium (SMC) for the treatment of diabetic macular oedema (DME).

Intravitreal ranibizumab is the only anti-VEGF therapy currently licensed to treat RVOs and previous clinical trials have indicated it can achieve significant and sustained improvements in visual acuity.

Dr Ian Pearce, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreoretinal Surgeon, St Paul’s Eye Unit, Royal Liverpool Hospital, stated, “The decision by NICE to recommend ranibizumab for the treatment of CRVO and BRVO is great news for people with these conditions.”

“The impact of the visual impairment we so often see in people with RVO can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life," Dr Pearce continued. "Ranibizumab has been used to great success in the treatment of wet AMD for a number of years. It is an established and well-tolerated treatment which when used to treat RVO can lead to rapid and significant gains in vision. The impact of this cannot be underestimated as it can make the difference in a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks such as reading and driving. I hope that following publication of final NICE Guidance we see its rapid implementation across the NHS.”