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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 January 2008, 15:17 GMT
MP backs call for sight treatment
Ray and Olive Liggins
Ray Liggins helps look after his wife Olive
An MP has called on healthcare chiefs to fund treatment which may save the sight of a Warwickshire man.

Nuneaton MP Bill Olner has backed the case of Ray Liggins, 76, who has lost the sight in one eye and now has the same condition in his other eye.

The Labour MP called for Warwickshire Primary Care Trust to make an exception and pay for the drug called Lucentis.

The trust said it did not routinely commission the treatment as it was not recommended in guidance to the NHS.

Mr Liggins from Nuneaton has the condition age-related wet macular degeneration (ARMD) in both eyes and is using his life savings to pay for the treatment.

Drug 'vital'

Mr Liggins said: "It's morally wrong to let people go blind when there are treatments available."

His case has already been backed by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the Macular Disease Society (MDS).

The RNIB said the "devastating condition" could lead to blindness in as little as three months. It said rapid use of Lucentis was "vital" as it was able to halt the progress of the condition.

David Rose, chief executive of Warwickshire PCT, said its policy on the treatment was the same as other PCTs in the West Midlands.

He said: "The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) issues guidance to the NHS on treatments and procedures following extensive trial and review and Warwickshire PCT follows all mandatory Nice guidelines."



SEE ALSO
Man in NHS battle 'to save sight'
22 Jan 08 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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