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NICE approve diroximel fumarate (Vumerity) for active relapsing MS

Today the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved diroximel fumarate (Vumerity) as a new treatment for relapsing MS in adults with active disease in England.

Who will be able to access diroximel fumarate?

Diroximel fumarate has been approved for adults with active relapsing MS. Active disease is defined by MRI scans that identify inflammation or new or enlarging lesions.

The NICE decision applies to England. Because diroximel fumarate has been recommended through a fast track appraisal process, NHS England have agreed to make this drug available by mid-May 2022.

NICE decisions will be checked by the governments in Wales and Northern Ireland but are usually adopted.

In February, the Scottish Medicine Consortium (SMC) recommended diroximel fumarate for use on the NHS in Scotland.

What is diroximel fumarate?

Diroximel fumarate is an oral treatment and is taken as a tablet twice a day.

Studies have shown diroximel fumarate works in a very similar way to dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera), another available MS treatment.

In making its recommendation, NICE concluded diroximel fumarate is equally effective as dimethyl fumarate. This is because the two drugs are considered to be “bioequivalent”, producing the same amount of active ingredient in the body. However, diroximel fumarate is less likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects than dimethyl fumarate.

Much-needed hope for people with MS

Our policy manager, Meg Stapleton, says: “We’re pleased NICE has approved this new disease modifying treatment (DMT) Vumerity for use on the NHS in England. Living with MS can be relentless, painful and disabling, but access to this, along with a range of other treatments already available, offers much-needed hope.

“People with MS often tell us that it can be difficult to attend hospital appointments to receive their treatment, but Vumerity can conveniently be taken as a tablet at home. It's also been shown to have fewer gastrointestinal side effects than Tecfidera, the most similar DMT. Everyone with MS should be able to access Vumerity if it's the right option for them.”

Read more about diroximel fumarate