New MS drug Lemtrada now available on NHS

Published date: 28 May 2014 at 8:52AM

The new MS drug Lemtrada (also known as alemtuzumab) has received the final stamp of approval from NICE, and should now be available on the NHS in England and Wales to people with active relapsing remitting MS.

The drug received an initial ‘yes’ from NICE at the start of April, but the decision was subject to an appeal window, which has now ended without any delay.

The NHS now has three months to put the necessary measures in place to be able to provide the treatment, meaning that come September, local hospitals have a legal obligation to provide the treatment to patients deemed eligible.

Major step forward in MS treatment

Nick Rijke, Director for Policy and Research at the MS Society, said:

“The NICE approval of Lemtrada is a major step forward in the treatment of people with multiple sclerosis. This drug has taken decades to develop, and while it’s not without risk, it’s proven to be a highly effective medicine for people with relapsing remitting MS. We look forward to seeing it made available to those who could benefit.”

Read more about Lemtrada, including the benefits and risks of the treatment. 

Northern Ireland and Scotland

The NICE guidance will now be reviewed by the Health Department in Northern Ireland and the treatment should be available within the next few months.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) is also carrying out its own review on the use of Lemtrada on the NHS in Scotland and a decision is expected in July.

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Page last updated: 29 May 2014

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