The asthma drug Xolair is now being denied to children below the age of 12 in England by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
While the children above 6, living in Scotland and suffering from the severe form of asthma, have already got the drug injected, NICE intends to stop the treatment in England. It says that the drug cost from £3,300 to £26,000 a year, and hence was not worth it.
NICE says that the high cost of the treatment failed to justify its improved advantage over the other existing drugs.
However, the doctors and charities have been criticizing the guidance, saying that the children had already been prescribed the drug but now due to this latest step by NICE, they will not be able to undergo the treatment.
“Hundreds of children across England with the most severe, allergic asthma will now be denied a pioneering treatment that could free them from crippling daily asthma symptoms, endless trips to hospital and huge amounts of time off school”, said Dr. Mike Thomas, Chief Medical Adviser to Asthma UK.
This was, however, nonsensical, said Professor John Warner, Professor of paediatrics at Imperial College London, as a child of the age 11 and a child of the age 12, both had an ‘identical immunopathology’. But according to this new proposal, the former could not undergo the treatment whole the latter could.