A number of charities and bodies including the Association of Optometrists and The Association of British Dispensing Opticians have contacted incoming clinical commissioning groups to warn that an inappropriate level of care will result in patients losing their vision which in turn will place a heavy burden on existing health care providers and social care services. They say that eye clinics must be of paramount importance for investment to ensure the correct level of care is upheld.
Further to that, the letter focused on the drug Lucentis, and how a steep rise in its demand has been documented by at least fifty per cent, and in some areas, as much as seventy or eighty per cent. Lucentis, is being used to treat wet AMD and was recently approved to be given to patients diagnosed with macular oedema caused by diabetic retinopathy. the dramatic rise in demand for it s linked to the recent expectation of its approval for use on patients with macular oedema caused by retinal vein occlusion.
Funding and support from the NHS are still being sought by eye clinics that are treating wet AMD yet failing to meet guidelines in the delivery of that treatment.
Charities and society's such as the Macular Society are well aware of the heavy pressures placed upon our eye clinics, but point out that loss of sight is frightening enough but is even more devastating if it could have been prevented.
Preventable sight loss must be a priority up and down the country.