§ Mr. Letwin
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NICE has made a final decision on the suitability of PDT for the treatment of macular disease. 
§ Nick Harvey
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when NICE will issue final guidance on the use of photodynamic therapy for age-related macular degeneration; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Lammy
[holding answer 25 November 2002]: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) appraisal of photodynamic therapy has been extended to allow further consideration of the draft guidance. We expect that guidance could be available to the national health service in January 2003, providing there are no appeals.
In the meantime, guidance issued in August 1999 to all NHS bodies asked them to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from NICE is not available at the time the technology first became available. These arrangements should involve an assessment of all the relevant factors including the available evidence on effect. The local introduction of photodynamic therapy under these arrangements should be funded locally.