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NICE rejects ozanimod for relapsing MS

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has decided not to recommend ozanimod for people with relapsing MS on the NHS in England and Wales. This is the final stage of the approval process of this new MS treatment.

What is ozanimod?

Ozanimod (brand name Zeposia) is a tablet taken daily. It's similar to fingolimod in that it's thought to act by trapping certain immune cells (called T cells) in the body’s lymph nodes.

Ozanimod has been shown in Phase 3 clinical trials to be effective at reducing the relapse rate in relapsing MS compared to beta interferon

In March 2020, it was licensed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to treat people with relapsing MS who have active disease. ‘Active’ means you’re having relapses or MRI scans of your brain or spinal cord show new or growing lesions.

What’s the decision based on?

Following a final review of evidence, including evidence we submitted, NICE found that ozanimod was not cost effective enough to be recommended for use on the NHS. NICE considered that ozanimod’s effect on disability progression was uncertain. 

People with MS could benefit from more oral treatments

Our Policy Manager, Fredi Cavander-Attwood, said:

“It’s disappointing that NICE has made this final decision not to recommend ozanimod as a treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis in England. Oral treatments, like ozanimod, are limited and not allowing people this option could deny them a convenient way to manage MS symptoms. 
“This rejection also highlights the inequities in access to treatments around the UK, as people living with MS in Scotland were granted access to ozanimod in February. Effective MS treatments should be made available for everyone living with MS regardless of where they live in the UK.”

Where does this decision apply?

This decision applies to England and Wales only. NICE decisions will be checked by the government in Northern Ireland but are usually adopted. 

In February 2021, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) approved ozanimod for people with active relapsing MS on the NHS in Scotland.

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