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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

UK News: Plymouth expert says MS drug should be available on NHS

A DRUG which has been licensed in America for four years is still not available on the NHS despite studies showing it could help 50 per cent of multiple sclerosis patients, a Derriford doctor has said.
Professor Jeremy Hobart said MS patients are having to pay £2,500 per year for the drug fampridine, which has been available in the USA since January 2010.
His comments come at the beginning of MS Week and as the MS Society launches its Treat Me Right campaign, to encourage sufferers to make sure they are getting the best treatment available.
The professor of clinical neurology and health measurement was involved in data analysis during clinical trials of the drug and is satisfied by the research surrounding it.
Prof Hobart said: “I’m supporting this because there is very good evidence that this drug is beneficial for people with MS. In Europe, the European Medicines Agency licensed it as ‘effective and safe’ in 2010. Four years later people with MS in the UK are still not able to get the drug.
“In the UK patients receive a month free from the drug company which is long enough to determine if it will help them.
“After that if they want to continue it costs £2,500 per year. MS is an incurable condition which affects people’s ability to work so sufferers have limited incomes.
“Having analysed the data myself as part of the research I am satisfied in my own mind that the drug is effective. There is clear evidence of benefit so fampridine should be made available on the NHS.”

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