The United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has issued a guidance opposing the use of ranibizumab for the treatment of diabetic macular edema.
"Taking account of all the uncertainties in the manufacturer's modeling assumptions, the Committee concluded that ranibizumab is not an effective use of NHS resources and could not be recommended as a treatment for people with diabetic macular edema," the guidance said.
As a result, the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) will no longer cover Lucentis (ranibizumab, Novartis) for treatment of diabetic macular edema, but patients currently receiving ranibizumab will have the option to continue its use until their physicians determine it appropriate to stop, according to the guidance.
The guidance questioned Novartis' assumptions about the long-term effectiveness of ranibizumab and the related costs in comparison to laser photocoagulation and deemed further comparison with other treatments unnecessary.
"Because it had not been provided with plausible evidence that ranibizumab represents an effective use of NHS resources when compared with laser photocoagulation, the Committee did not believe that considering evidence about the costs and effects of bevacizumab would alter its decision," the guidance said.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence will reconsider its guidance in March 2013, when it will look into whether newly available research warrants a full review of the rejection.