10. August 2011 09:22
A nighttime-breathing machine and a mouthpiece intended to be worn at night have both been shown to be effective in combatting sleep apnea.
The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine pumps air through a mask while the patient is asleep. The mask pushes a steady stream of air through the nose to keep the throat and airway open.
This improves airflow in the patients’ lungs, according to a new report funded by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in the US.
Another treatment, a mouthpiece called a mandibular advancement device (MAD) can also be effective, the report discovered.
Carolyn M. Clancy, Director of AHRQ, stated: “These guides and this new report will help patients and their doctors understand what treatment options might be best for them.”
Many kinds of CPAP machines and masks exist; some fit over the nose, and others cover both the nose and mouth.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that disrupts sleep for an estimated 12 million Americans, with millions more undiagnosed.
3. August 2011 12:48
An appeal has been lodged by Novartis against NICE’s decision not to recommend Lucentis (ranibizumab) for the treatment of visual impairment due to Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO).
The Institute recently failed to recommend the injection in final draft guidance after questioning the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) when compared to standard treatment.
Novartis says it understands the “current pressures” facing the NHS and is fully committed to “ensure patients have access to important and innovative treatments”.
A Patient Access Scheme has already been agreed between Novartis and the DH to reduce the price of Lucentis in an attempt to make it more cost-effective.
However, when commenting on the final draft guidance approval, Sir Andrew Dillon says Novartis had “significantly underestimated the cost of treatment”.
The Swiss-based manufacturer says it’s now negotiating with NICE and the DH to find a solution “which will ultimately benefit patients”.