Thousands of patients will be condemned to blindness because of a decision to ration the NHS treatment which could save their sight, leading charities warned last night.
They said that patients with macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in the elderly, would effectively have to lose the use of an eye before qualifying for therapy to save their remaining vision.
Their condemnation came as the NHS drug rationing body, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), recommended restrictions on funding a treatment for the condition.
Steve Winyard, of the Royal National Institute of the Blind, said he was appalled, claiming the decision amounted to saying that it was acceptable for people to go blind in one eye.
Robin Hill, of the Macular Disease Society, was also disgusted.
'Despite the fact that we have an effective treatment, NICE wants to limit the number of treatments given by the NHS and is recommending that PDT should only be offered to those patients who have already lost the sight of one eye,' he said.
'Patients whose circumstances compel them to rely upon the NHS will be condemned by NICE to Russian roulette for their one good eye.
'An accident or a sudden haemorrhage, or failure to get a clinic appointment within a matter of days, may take away at a stroke life's quality as they know it.'
He added that he agreed with critics of NICE who argue that, in many cases, new treatments are being held up simply to save money.
Even more reason for us to take control of our Diabetes because it seems if we do run into difficulties,then apart from private healthcare which most of us can ill afford,we're on our own if NICE have their way! very worrying!
You are right Paul, we can and must become our own diabetes experts. Diabetes does not cause serious complications, elevated BG numbers does all the damage. Many people have lived for more than 50-60 years after diabetes diagnosis with no life altering or life threatening complications. As the guys say on the big one, eat to your meter.
Eat the food that does not raise BG numbers, get in some physical activity, and minimise meds wherever possible.
Some people say I am over the top and too strict on my recommendations for lowcarbing. I have no choice, for me nothing else works.
It is becoming more and more apparent that it is so important to keep the BG numbers low, as low as we can. We owe it to ourselves, it is in our own hands.
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