Ocrelizumab campaign win
We did it! Ocrelizumab has been approved to be available on the NHS for people with early primary progressive MS in England. This is a landmark moment in MS treatment.
Back in 2018, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved ocrelizumab for relapsing MS, but then rejected it for early primary progressive MS.
In response to this, we came together in our thousands to call for ocrelizumab to be available on the NHS for people with primary progressive MS. 21,000 of you signed our petition and thousands of emails were sent to MPs. In May 2019, NICE changed its decision, after an updated submission was made by the pharmaceutical company, Roche. This means ocrelizumab will be available on the NHS in England in a few months' time
For now, this decision only applies to England. The pharmaceutical company who make the drug say there are plans to make ocrelizumab available on the NHS across the UK as soon as possible, and we’ll be continuing to monitor this.
A landmark moment
DMTs are not a cure for MS, but they can slow down damage that builds up over time. There are several DMTs for relapsing MS. But ocrelizumab (drug name Ocrevus) is the first and only one licensed to treat primary progressive MS.
Each year around 650 people are diagnosed with primary progressive MS in the UK. Now, for the first time, there is a treatment that could help.
What's the research?
In medical trials, people with primary progressive MS who took ocrelizumab had 25% less risk of their disability getting worse.
How we spoke up for progressive MS
After it was rejected in September 2018, over 21,000 of us spoke up together to call for NICE, NHS England and the drug manufacturer Roche to find a deal together. Building on that momentum, we organised an event in the Houses of Parliament in November which was well attended by MPs, the drug manufacturer and most importantly, people with MS.
Since then, Roche and NHS bodies agreed to put forward a new proposal to NICE, which has now been approved. This means ocrelizumab will be available on the NHS for people with early primary progressive MS.