People who suffer from severe asthma have been offered new hope after the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) approved a jab for use on the NHS.
It gave the go-ahead for Omalizumab (xolair) to be used to treat severe persistent allergic asthma. The treatment has been hailed as a breakthrough in stopping the body reacting severely to pollen, skin particles produced by cats and house-dust mite droppings.
The drug has only been approved for people over the age of 12 who have had either two or more severe asthma attacks requiring hospital admission in the previous year, or three or more severe asthma attacks in the previous year of which one required hospitalisation and a further two which required extra treatment on top of usual medication.
Neil Churchill, chief executive of Asthma UK, said: "We are thrilled with NICE's decision, which is a victory for people with severe, allergic asthma, who have fought to receive this life-changing drug.
"Existing asthma treatments just don't work for around half a million people across the UK living with difficult-to-control asthma.
"Xolair will be suitable for a small number of these people and will literally transform their lives."