Cost regulators for the NHS in England and Wales have again endorsed Alimera Sciences eye implant Iluvien as a treatment for some diabetics with macular oedema.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has now published final draft guidance recommending Iluvien (fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant) as an option for patients with chronic diabetic macular oedema, a condition that causes blurred or double vision.

Original guidance published by NICE back in January rejected the product on grounds that it did not offer value for money, but a (confidential) price cut subsequently offered by Alimera helped turn around the decision.

The Institute is now recommending the use of Iluvien - a corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) properties - when the condition fails to adequately respond to available therapies, and only in an eye with an intraocular (pseudophakiciv) lens.

Professor Carole Longson, Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director at NICE, said the Institute is pleased to be able to recommend Iluvien, given that around 14% of diabetics suffer from the condition. Its prevalence actually increases to 29% for people with diabetes who have used insulin for more than 20 years.

The implant is available in a 190-microgram implant at a price of £5,500.