Alimera Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALIM) (Alimera), a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research, development and commercialization of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, today announced that the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued final draft guidance indicating that ILUVIEN is not recommended for the treatment of chronic diabetic macular edema (DME) considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies. While the Appraisal Committee acknowledged the clinical effectiveness of ILUVIEN® in the treatment of vision impairment associated with chronic DME considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies, it noted that cost-effectiveness thresholds for the product have not yet been met.
In response to the final draft guidance, Alimera is now developing a Patient Access Scheme (PAS) to address the Appraisal Committee's cost concerns that pose a barrier to access for people in the United Kingdom with chronic DME who might benefit from ILUVIEN. The goal of the PAS will be to determine the appropriate pricing for ILUVIEN in order to ensure that treatment decisions are based on patient need, rather than cost.
Andrew Lotery, Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Southampton, said, "I am very pleased that NICE has recognized that ILUVIEN is clinically effective for chronic diabetic macular oedema. I am hopeful that this sustained-release therapy will become available to the thousands of people affected with diabetes in the United Kingdom."
The International Diabetes Federation estimates that more than 3 million people are currently living with diabetes in the U.K., nearly 200,000 of whom, according to Alimera's estimates, suffer with vision loss from DME.
"In recognition of the ongoing process with NICE, we have immediately begun to develop a Patient Access Scheme which, if accepted, will make ILUVIEN available to all chronic DME patients in the United Kingdom considered insufficiently responsive to available therapies," said Dan Myers, president and chief executive officer, Alimera.