Last week, they got a bit of a kicking; this week, they are already trying to redeem themselves. We’re talking about those nice people from NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence), which is supposed to assess the efficacy, and expense, of a drug before allowing it onto the approved list of those available on the UK’s National Health Service.
They are recommending to doctors to try photodynamic therapy instead of a drug in treating age-related macular degeneration.
The therapy is worth considering, and more patients should have access to it, if only to provide enough material for a proper trial, say NICE.
The therapy uses a low-power laser to seal ‘leaky’ blood vessels under the retina associated with the condition. The therapy has ‘a reasonable chance of halting or slowing the progression of the disease,’ NICE reports.
What? No drugs?
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2003; 327: 698).