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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 20:07 GMT
NHS to reconsider eye drug ruling
Alice Mahon
The disease is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK
An NHS trust which refused to fund a drug for a former Halifax MP who is losing her sight has announced it will review its decision.

Alice Mahon, 69, threatened to take Calderdale Primary Care Trust (PCT) to the High Court over its refusal to fund a drug which could help her condition.

She is nearly blind in one eye due to wet age-related macular degeneration.

On Tuesday the PCT said the news the drug had received its European licence meant it would reconsider the decision.

'Not financial'

Director of public health at Calderdale Primary Care Trust, Dr Graham Wardman, said any new treatment was considered on evidence of its effectiveness, taking into account whether or not it was licensed.

He said: "The decision not to approve Lucentis was not based on any NICE process or financial considerations.

"In light of the recent information that the MHRA have now approved this drug for use within this country, the PCT will be reviewing its decision."

Mrs Mahon said she welcomed news of the review.

'Welcome news'

"If this review means that people are going to get the treatment and get it quickly then it's extremely welcome news for all those suffering this terrible, distressing condition, including myself.

"Now we have to move forward to call on the government to ensure that resources are provided.

"PCTs should be told that, when a clinician prescribes treatment for AMD, they need to provide it.

"It's especially important for those people who can't afford to pay for the treatment privately."

More than 18,000 people in the UK go blind every year due to AMD.

Alice Mahon on her battle for treatment

Ex-MP battles NHS over eye drug
30 Jan 07 |  West Yorkshire
Age-related macular degeneration
13 Jun 02 |  Medical notes

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