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Doctors join forces in saving the NHS millions with eye care services


25 February 2015

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Doctors have united in seeking support for commissioning safe and effective eye care services that will save the NHS millions.

Doctors have united in seeking support for commissioning safe and effective eye care services that will save the NHS millions.

Clinical leaders from 120 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), representing almost 60% of all CCGs, have come together to call on the doctors' regulator the General Medical Council, the Department of Health and NHS England to remove the current barriers preventing CCGs from commissioning safe and effective eye care services using the drug Avastin 'off- licence' to treat the debilitating condition of wet age related macular degeneration (AMD).

Dr Amanda Doyle, chief clinical officer at NHS Blackpool CCG and co-chair of NHSCC said: “This is a long standing issue within the NHS and the numbers of CCGs who have united behind this shows the strength of feeling there is to ensure that we have all the available options to be able to deliver the best possible care for our patients.

“As clinicians we are seeing an increase in the incidence of this chronic eye condition due to an ageing population, and as commissioners we have a responsibility to ensure that every pound spent is done so to the best effect, and that is even more important with the current financial pressures the NHS is facing.

“The recent Cochrane Review shows that Avastin has been proven to be comparable in terms of its effectiveness and its safety, and is a significantly more cost effective treatment for wet AMD than anything which is currently available for us to use. Members of the public would be baffled if they knew the sums of money being spent on expensive drugs when there is an alternative available that is cheaper and as effective.”

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