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Withdrawal of Viteyes on prescription from January 2024

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Wednesday 25 October 2023

The Committee for Health & Social Care, on the recommendation of the Prescribing and Formulary Panel, has taken the decision to remove Viteyes from the Prescribing List.

Viteyes contains a number of vitamins and minerals, linked to the functioning of the eye, and are marketed to prevent Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). NICE did not consider the evidence to be sufficiently robust to recommend them, so they were never prescribed on the NHS.

Guernsey will, in line with the UK, be removing Viteyes from the prescribing list in January 2024. The product will continue to be available for purchase from local pharmacies and opticians. Approximately 500 people receive Viteyes on prescription.

Deputy Tina Bury, Vice-President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, said:

"In the past HSC approved the prescribing of these vitamin supplements as patients had to travel off island to receive treatment and not everyone was able or willing to do so. Viteyes were therefore approved in the Bailiwick before the specialist on-island service began. But we now have an excellent local specialist service run by the Ophthalmic Department. This offers injected biologic products, some of which are new NICE TA drugs, that are more effective than Viteyes and are also sourced at the significant NHS discounts.

"We completely understand that this decision won't be welcome news for some people receiving Viteyes on prescription at the moment. However, HSC must make best use of its finances and difficult decisions need to be made. We will be able to save up to £85,000 plus fees each year and this money will become available to fund other treatments and services. Decisions such as this, as difficult as they are, are crucial particularly in the current financial climate.  

"Anyone concerned about their eye health is advised to discuss this with their GP or Optometrist."

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