Welsh AMD network established

November 26, 2008

An ophthalmology network, aiming to prevent loss of vision across the country, has been established in Wales.

An ophthalmology network, aiming to prevent loss of vision across the country, has been established in Wales.

As of November 20, Lucentis (ranibizumab; Novartis) for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in both eyes has been available on the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales. The availability and reimbursement of Lucentis has exerted increasing pressure on the services available in the country. In response, the government has established the nine-centre hospital-based network, and plans to increase staff levels this month, both to ensure long-term training and expertise in the treatment of AMD and to establish a uniform quality of eye care throughout Wales. Health Minister Edwina Hart has also announced a £15 million (€17.9 million) commitment to fund Lucentis in 2009 and 2010.

Eight of the nine treatment centres in the ophthalmology network are already treating patients. The ninth will be located in Amman Valley Hospital in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire.