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Macular Degeneration

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the advice is from (a) the Department of Health and (b) the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to primary care trusts on the use of (i) Macugen and (ii) Lucentis for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. (93969)

Lucentis is under assessment by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) and is currently not approved for marketing in the European Union (EU). Macugen already has approval for marketing in the EU.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently carrying out an appraisal of Macugen and Lucentis for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and final guidance is due to be published in August 2007. NICE'S appraisal will take into account the outcome of the EMEA's assessment of Lucentis.

Where guidance from NICE is not yet available, primary care trusts are expected to apply local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies. These arrangements should include an assessment of the available evidence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will request that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence simultaneously appraises Avastin and Lucentis for the treatment of macular degeneration. (94594)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently appraising Lucentis (ranibizuman) alongside another drug, Macugen (pegaptanib), for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. NICE expects to publish its guidance to the national health service in August 2007. The Department has no current plans to ask NICE to appraise Avastin for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration.