New treatment for wet AMD available in Scotland

Posted: Tuesday 08 September 2020

A new treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which would require fewer injections, has been approved for NHS patients in Scotland today.

Brolucizumab (Beovu), which could see patients going as much as 12 weeks between injections, has been approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC)

In two clinical trials, the new drug has showed that in less than a year almost a third of patients were able to see at least 15 more letters in standard eye tests and vision gain was seen as early as four weeks into the trial, with progress sustained for two years.

Cathy Yelf, Chief Executive of the Macular Society, said: “With wet AMD, central vision gradually gets worse, making everyday activities such as reading, recognising faces and driving more difficult, and can eventually lead to a loss of independence.” 

“The treatment burden for patients with wet AMD is huge. So, we are delighted that a new treatment option, which has the potential to maintain vision and help minimise the number of hospital visits for people living with this devastating condition and their loved ones, is now available in Scotland.”

Dr Mark Toms, Medical Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Novartis UK, added: "Today’s SMC acceptance of brolucizumab represents an important advance for patients in Scotland living with wet AMD. They will now have access to a treatment option that has the potential to minimise the treatment burden while improving their vision and delaying progression of their wet AMD." 

Novartis is expecting a decision from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on whether the drug will be available for the rest of the UK later in the year