NICE Reconsider Santen’s Keratitis Drug
After an initial rejection earlier this year, NICE has published the final draft guidance backing the use of Santen’s eye drug Ikervis on the NHS in England and Wales.
The Institute is now endorsing Ikervis (ciclosporin) to treat severe keratitis in adults with dry eye disease that has not improved despite treatment with artificial tears.
Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea that is caused by reduced tear production or excessive tear evaporation. The condition is characterised by symptoms such as irritation/redness in the eyes, blurred vision, and a sensation of grittiness or a foreign body in the eye. In severe cases if keratitis is left untreated it can result in blindness.
Ikervis blocks the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the cornea and tear gland, helping to increase the eyes’ natural ability to produce tears while reducing inflammation.
The acquisition cost of a monthly course of Ikervis is £72 (excluding VAT), but costs may vary in different settings due to negotiated procurement discounts.
Earlier this year, NICE stated evidence submitted for the drug was too uncertain, but Santen subsequently responded to its call for more information to help convince the Institute of its cost-effectiveness.