The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) has recommended Fampyra for use on the NHS in Wales. The drug can help people with MS to improve their walking speed.
This decision means Wales is now the first country in the UK to recommend Fampyra (brand name fampridine) for routine use on the NHS.
What is Fampyra?
Fampyra is taken orally as a tablet. Most people are prescribed one tablet in the morning and one at night. It helps about one in three people who take it.
If this drug works it can speed up walking by about 25%.
What does this decision mean?
The decision means people with MS in Wales should no longer have to pay for the drug privately.
It’s now up to Health Boards in Wales to make sure people can access it. We'll be working with Health Boards in 2020 to make sure access to the drug becomes a reality.
Who can get Fampyra?
Fampyra will be available on the NHS for adults with MS who score between 4-7 on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).
What about the rest of the UK?
This decision only applies to Wales.
We hope the pharmaceutical company (Biogen) that makes Fampyra will now submit the drug for appraisal in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.
From then, it’s up to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) to decide whether the drug should be offered across the rest of the UK.
We’ll continue to work across all nations to ensure Fampyra is made available to all those across the UK who could benefit.
A life-changing treatment
Our Cymru director Lynne Hughes said: “It’s fantastic that Fampyra (fampridine) has been approved for use on the NHS in Wales. MS is relentless, painful, and disabling, but this treatment could be life-changing for many of us – making an important difference to walking, energy levels and a person’s ability to manage MS.
“Wales is the first country in the UK to recommend Fampyra, but it’s up to our Health Boards to ensure those who could benefit can access this new drug. We also need appraisal bodies across the UK to follow suit as soon as possible, so everyone with MS can access Fampyra when they need it.”
Too many people affected by MS in the UK have to fight for the treatments, services, care and support they need.
Together we can change that.