26.10.2015

New blindness treatment "may be too expensive"

New blindness treatment "may be too expensive"

A new treatment option which could possibly offer hope to hundreds of blind people around the UK may not be available for a long time, one expert has pointed out.

According to Gregoire Cosendai, vice president of Second Sight, which has developed a new type of device to simulate sight in people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, initial feedback from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) could have been better.

NICE is responsible for recommending whether a treatment should be provided through the NHS, so it is important that the body favours the new invention, Mr Cosendai told express.co.uk.

At the moment, people who go private have to pay in excess of £50,000 for the treatment, but the expert pointed out: "As the cost of supporting a blind person over a lifespan is from £3 million to £4 million, we believe this can save money."

Meanwhile, Dr Budd Tucker, who is currently an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, recently said that a new study he is involved in could hold "great promise" for future treatments through regenerating skin stem cells, which can help to repair the corneas.

by Martin Burns


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