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Friday 21st October 2016

Sight-drug fight funded by charity

9th July 2007

A charity for blind people is to fund a pensioner’s legal battle for NHS funding for a drug that could save his sight.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People is backing 84-year-old Dennis Devier, who is taking his case against Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) to the High Court.

It believes former RAF flight engineer Mr Devier has an “exceptional? case for the drugs for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can be treated with anti-VEGF drugs.

In England and Wales, PCTs are formulating policies on the drugs, while awaiting final guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which last month in its draft guidance recommended a total block on one drug, Macugen, and restrictions on a second, Lucentis.

Oxfordshire PCT said the issues raised by the case were under consideration.

But Steve Winyard, RNIB’s head of campaigns, said: “Oxfordshire PCT has told Dennis that for him to be eligible for sight-saving treatment he must be an ‘exceptional case’. In RNIB's view he is.?

Mr Devier is already blind in one eye and has spent more than £8,000 of his savings on private treatment. He says that if he loses his sight completely he will be unable to care for his wife Frances.

Mr Winyard said: “Oxfordshire is the first trust we are supporting legal action against, but we will be looking at every PCT's performance and will not hesitate to support further legal action against each and every PCT in the country if we believe they are acting illegally.?


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