|First pill for relapsing remitting MS licensed|
|Fingolimod (brand name Gilenya) has been licensed by UK regulators for people with highly active relapsing-remitting MS.
The new treatment, the first pill for MS, increases choice and bridges the gap for people who have not found beta interferons to work, but who are not yet eligible to take Tysabri.
In clinicial trials, the treatment has reduced the number of relapses people with MS experience by 54% – 60% over a two year period.
The decision by the Government’s medicines agency, the MHRA, to licence the treatment means neurologists can prescribe it from this week. However, access is likely to be patchy until the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) reviews the cost-effectiveness of the treatment and decides whether or not it should be routinely available on the NHS in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own perscribing committee, but their decision is likely to be influenced by NICE. Providing there are no delays, the review should be complete by July.
Dr Doug Brown, Head of Biomedical Research at the MS Society, said:
This treatment fills the gap for people who have failed on first line treatments but are not eligible for infusion therapy and we look forward to seeing it made available to all those who could benefit from taking it.”