View Full Version : restasis.. in the uk.
hello i would like to know if restasis is approved for use in the uk?i have posterior blepharitis and dry eyes.does it work?thanks cb.
No it is not yet approved in the UK.
I was advised a few weeks ago that trials are currently being conducted at Moorfields Pharmaceuticals but no information was made available.
thank you irish eyes for that information..regards..cb
When I enquired at Moorfields about a product that was advertised as the equivalent of Restasis, the information I received was not entirely accurate.
Emailing someone else today, I understand that Cyclosporine drops have been developed at Moorfields. Although their version contains 2% cyclosporine, the Allergan brand of Restasis is 0.05%. My contact couldn't comment as to whether they really were the same thing:
`With regards to being safe and effective, again, I cannot comment on the Retasis brand but Moorfields Pharmaceuticals products go through a thorough quality process....
`As we (Moorfields) are a ĎSpecialsí manufacturer we are unable to advertise our products, so it isnít rare to hear that your consultant hadnít recommended the product but hopefully he will now through yourself'
It needs a prescription of course and I wouldn't know if it would be marked up in price because it is a `special'. She was shocked when I advised her how much I was expected to pay when Boots sourced a supply of Restasis for me. Moorfields supply to NHS and high street chemists.
Has anyone ever done this? What would one need to do in order to enable an ophth to rx?
This is something I'd like to try myself.
Do you mean how does a person get someone to prescribe it?
Well I managed to get Restasis prescribed because I have been in absolute torment for so long - and nothing was working. My general state of health was suffering and I discussed Restasis with my GP first. She wasn't in a position to prescribe it but she mentioned it in a referral letter to doctors at a private eye clinic.
I have seen a number of consultants over the years (like many of us have) but this man was the first to agree to considering Restasis - chiefly I think because my eyes had deteriorated so much. He described me as a case who had reached the other end of the spectrum. I think that was putting it mildly.
When I see him next time, I may mention the Moorfields drops to him. He would know whether the level of cyclosporine was OK.
Are you seeing anyone at the moment - if so, I would just ask them. I have no idea what this stuff would cost or whether it would have the desired effect. I think it should be cheaper than Restasis but I don't know.
I guess I could email them and ask "how do I get my Ophth do prescribe it". I'll mention it to my Ophth (as he suggested I try to get Restasis on the Internet) - he might not be willing to take responsibility though.
Plus 2% looks a lot higher than 0.05%!
Yes - it's a tough call when so little is known about it.
NHS doctors can't prescribe Restasis because it isn't available on the NHS. Yet, those who work in private practice can often prescribe in on a `named patient basis'. (That's how I got the prescription).
Even if your opth. isn't willing to take direct responsibility, I would at least raise the issue of this other product. He must have other patients coming through his door and needing help. Surely, it wouldn't harm him to know about what might be available.
Spoke to my local pharm today.
They indicated they are able to get hold of cyclosporine (though they though it was ciclosporine), preservative free 2% 10ml. This lasts for 28 days (sounds funny that this could be PF).
Cost? £238 + VAT + carriage.
Hmm, sounds like it would be tricky to get an rx for from my Ophth!
And it looks like the PF Sodium Chromoglycate (which lasts 7 days) cost £93.74 + VAT + carriage. This was Moorfields Pharm.
Erm, had this once. Got a feeling won't bother asking for a long term supply :P
If your opth. believed that Cyclosporine might help, he/she might write a prescription for it - although you might have to stand the cost if it is regarded as a `special' i.e available in this country but not prescribed routinely. :mad:
I'm unsure what Cyclosporine drops are used for at Moorfields - it may be to assist survival of corneal grafts rather than treat dry eye.
Lets be pedantic: spelling wise, it's in the dictionary as Cyclosporine
a drug, produced by a fungus (Tolypocladium inflatum), that suppresses the T cells that reject foreign tissue after an organ transplant without suppressing other cells that fight infections and cancer
Apparently it's known as Ciclosporine in Europe and Cyclosporin(e) in the US. I seem to recall having that same conversation when I spoke to the pharmacist at Moorfields!
I emailled them and they weren't very helpful:
Is this product suitable for Dry Eye, or more for corneal grafts etc?
As we are not pharmacists we are unable to let you know what the product is used for. Please refer to your clinician/prescriber for this information.
Um, I was hoping to gain info from you to pass to my clinician/prescriber?
I'm thinking this route is currently a dead end.
This is part of their reply from a couple of weeks ago:
Moorfields Pharmaceuticals do produce a 2% Cyclosporin eye drop as an unlicensed product as mentioned in the extract** you have provided. It is used in the management of severe allergic eye disease, severe dry eye syndromes, prevention of corneal graft rejection and autoimmune keratoconjunctivitis. You do not state where your consultant is based please could this information be given. Being a Ďspecialí our products can only be obtained with a prescription
The extract** they refer to is this:
Restasis and here (topical cyclosporine) may be effective...we await more results. Cyclosporine drops are available now from the NHS and can be very helpful. However Restasis is used in the US but is not available on he NHS and is very expensive.
The Moorfields product is stronger than Restasis, and is not as well tolerated (it can make the eyes feel sore).
Cyclosporine is a drug...all the other products on this page are harmless lubricants
This extract is taken from:
Thanks for that - sounds like it wouldn't be suitable due to the tolerance issue mentioned.
Guess it's back to thinking about trying to buy Restais off the net.
Hey, I got the 2% Cyclosporin from moorfields a couple of years ago. I didnt give it long as it can sting a lot but then it is much stronger than the amount that's in restasis.
Were you prescribed it for dry eyes?
I've heard that it can sting.
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