John Baron, local MP and Health spokesman was less than impressed:
This decision is very odd and disappointing given that Gordon Brown’s constituents are going to get Macugen and Lucentis on the NHS, but patients in England are not – as SW Essex PCT has recently confirmed. It also goes against the ethos of the NHS that patients are expected to go blind in one eye before they receive treatment.
Before NICE makes its final decision, it ought to re-examine how it came to this view and should listen to the Royal College and the RNIB – and examine evidence from north of the border.
It is vital that our NHS continues to make available the latest breakthroughs in medical technology to all who use its services. I am therefore concerned that Macugen is the latest in a long line of exciting new drugs that are available free on the NHS in Scotland but not in England. If we have a National Health Service, it must be truly ‘national’.
John is right. Something's up.