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"Pump me Up!" Steroid implant approved in the UK to treat diabetic retinal disease

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (the equivalent of the FDA here in the U.S.) has granted permission for a new treatment that helps to improve the vision in diabetic patients. The new drug, Iluvien, is used to treat vision impairment as a result of chronic diabetic macular edema (DME) in those people who have had other treatments fail. Iluvien is an intravitreal implant which is inserted into the back of a patient's eye that delivers fluocinolone acetonide (a corticosteroid) for up to three years. Study results showed that at month 30 of receiving the treatment, 38% experienced significant improvement in their visual acuity.  At the end of 36 months, 34% saw a "highly significant" difference compared to those in the control group. Approximately three million people in the UK have diabetes and almost 200,000 suffer from vision loss associated with diabetic macular edema and it is hoped that Iluvien will be able to provide relief to those patients who are not responsive to the therapies that are currently available.

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