To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of providing photodynamic therapy to (a) all patients for whom it is considered clinically appropriate who are suffering from classic wet age-related macular degeneration and (b) all patients for whom it is considered clinically appropriate who are suffering from either classic wet age-related macular degeneration or predominantly classic wet age-related macular degeneration; (2) if he will make a statement on the time taken by NICE to carry out an appraisal of photodynamic therapy as a treatment for age-related macular degeneration; (3) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton), of 27 February 2003,
Official Report, columns 698–9W, on age-related macular degeneration, when his Department first asked NICE to carry out an appraisal of photodynamic therapy; and when he expects NICE to publish its final guidance. 
Department of Health: Awards/Recognition Schemes
|Healthcare IT Effectiveness Award||To recognise excellence in healthcare information management||Includes: Best use of IT in any healthcare sector. Best use of IT in laboratory or investigative systems. Best example of technological innovation. Best publicly accessible health related information system. Best use of IT in the Health||Department of Health NHS Information Authority British Journal of Healthcare Computing Health Informatics Committee of the British Computer Society Intellect (formerly CSSA and FEI)|
|Health and Social Care Awards||To recognise the achievements of individuals and teams across health, social care and the voluntary sector||2001/2002 categories for the following services to: Cancer Children's Health Children's Social Care Coronary Heart Disease Disabled Emergency Care Mental Health Older people Primary Care Improving working lives Waiting times||Department of Health Modernisation Agency|
|FNHS Beacons||To recognise individual services as exemplar sites of best practice across key priority areas||Applications for Beacons status are invited at regular intervals, in line with national priorities and objectives||Department of Health Modernisation Agency|
|The Mary Seacole Award||To recognise individuals who best reflect the excellent example set by Mary Seacole and emphasise her pioneering role in leadership||Bursary to fund a research and development project relating to the health service needs of black and minority ethnic communities||Department of Health Royal College of Nursing Community Practitioners and Health Visitors' Association Royal College of Midwifery UNISON|
[holding answer 18 March 2003]: Photodynamic therapy was referred to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) on 12 March 2001. NICE has not yet published any guidance to the national health service on this topic. Appeals were lodged, in response to the final appraisal determination issued on 16 January, which were considered at an appeal hearing on 17 March. The final date of publication will depend on the outcome of the appeal hearing.NICE is best placed to give authoritative guidance to the NHS, including guidance on the patients for whom the treatment may be appropriate. Until this guidance is available it is not possible to estimate what the cost of providing this treatment for clinically appropriate patients will be.Once guidance has been published, NHS bodies are obliged to make the necessary funding available so that patients can receive treatments recommended by NICE, if recommended by the clinician.