Access consortium recommended by NICE in draft guidance
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UK: First drug licensed in UK through Access Consortium recommended by NICE in draft guidance


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued final draft guidance recommending the use of Roche’s Vabysmo (faricimab) just a week after it was announced as the first treatment to be licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) through its participation in the Access Consortium. Vabysmo is provisionally recommended for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular oedema (DMO). According to NICE, up to 300,000 people in England with wet AMD could be eligible to receive Vabysmo together with more than 28,000 people with DMO. Final guidance from NICE will be published on 29th June 2022.  

Wet AMD and DMO are usually treated with injections of aflibercept or ranibizumab, or brolucizumab (AMD only). NICE found that “faricimab is likely to be cost saving or have a similar cost compared with aflibercept or ranibizumab and is likely to deliver similar health benefits”. A patient access scheme involving a confidential discount on faricimab has been agreed between NHS England and NHS Improvement and Roche.   

Commenting, Helen Knight, interim director for medicines evaluation at NICE said, “I am delighted that we have been able to recommend this treatment to help tackle two leading causes of vision loss so close to its licence just last week.  

“We are determined to drive innovations like these into the hands of clinicians to help patients as soon as possible. We will continue to work closely with our colleagues in other healthcare organisations to ensure we deliver progressive treatments which balance the best care with value for money, delivering both for individuals and society as a whole”.  

The Access Consortium is made up of regulatory authorities including the UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, and Switzerland. According to the MHRA, “the consortium’s goal is to maximise international co-operation between partners in the consortium, reduce duplication, and increase each agency’s capacity to ensure patients have timely access to high quality, safe and effective therapeutic products”.  


  1., “Thousands of people in England could benefit after NICE recommends treatment option for two forms of sight loss”, 24th May 2022 
  2., “Access Consortium”, accessed 25th May 2022 

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