NICE has published final draft guidance recommending new drug faricimab to help treat two leading causes of sight loss and visual impairment
Clinical evidence shows faricimab (Vabysmo, Roche) is effective in improving vision or reducing vision loss and can be administered less frequently than other medicines currently available. Faricimab is administered as an eye injection and is being recommended as an option for treating some adults with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or with diabetic macular oedema (DMO).
This new drug is welcomed by The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, especially as it can be administered by trained nurses and non-medical professionals such as optometrists and orthoptists, important roles within the multi-disciplinary team (MDT). The MDT is vital to ensuring that patient care can be provided whilst ophthalmologists are able to manage the more complex cases within the NHS eye service.
In the key clinical trials, aflibercept, another eye injection drug used to treat AMD and DMO, was administered every 8 weeks, while faricimab dosing, based on assessments of the disease activity, allowed for an interval of up to 16 weeks between doses, and was found to be equally effective.
Up to 300,000 people in England with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) could be eligible to receive faricimab as part of their treatment alongside just over 28,000 people with diabetic macular oedema.