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NICE: Ranibizumab Not Advised for Diabetic Macular Edema

Cost effectiveness of drug higher than with photocoagulation, current standard of care

FRIDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.K. National Institute for Health and Clinical Experience (NICE) announced in final draft guidance issued July 15 that the organization is not recommending ranibizumab for the treatment of diabetic macular edema.

The independent Appraisal Committee based their recommendation on the cost effectiveness of the drug as compared to the current standard of care. The manufacturer's model underestimated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) as compared with laser photocoagulation.

Ranibizumab could not be recommended as a treatment for individuals with diabetic macular edema because the ICER substantially exceeded the range that NICE considers represents an effective use of National Health Service (NHS) resources. Currently, NICE has not yet issued final guidance to the NHS, which is expected to be released in August 2011. In the meantime, according to NICE, NHS bodies should make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments.

"NICE already recommends ranibizumab for wet age-related macular degeneration, and although it has been shown in clinical trials to be an effective treatment for diabetic macular edema, the Appraisal Committee was unable to recommend the drug as a cost-effective use of NHS resources compared to laser photocoagulation for this condition," Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE, said in a statement.

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