Primary care trust backs down on decision not to fund eye medication

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Public and political pressure yesterday forced an NHS trust to review its decision not to fund the purchase of a sight-saving drug for a former Labour MP.

Kirklees and Calderdale primary care trust responded to a challenge by Alice Mahon in this paper, highlighting NHS inequalities that deny treatment to thousands facing blindness, including herself.

Mrs Mahon, 69, who was MP for Halifax for 18 years, has already lost most of the sight in one eye because of "wet" age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Thousands of other people are affected by the condition.

Last November her PCT refused a request by her consultant at Calderdale Royal Hospital, near Halifax, to buy the new drug Lucentis, which has been shown in trials to improve vision in a third of patients with wet AMD and to halt deterioration in most of the rest. Yesterday the PCT said news that the drug had received its European licence meant it would reconsider.

Mrs Mahon said: "If this review means that people are going to get the treatment and get it quickly then it's extremely welcome news."

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