In a draft updated guideline for the management of people with MS, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has decided not to recommend fampridine (Fampyra) for use on the NHS in England.
What is fampridine (Fampyra)?
Fampridine is a drug which aims to improve walking in adults with MS. The treatment doesn’t work for everyone, but can make a big difference to many people’s symptoms. If this drug works for you it can speed up walking by around 25%, on average. It can also help manage MS fatigue.
Why has it been rejected?
In England, NICE recommends which drugs should be used in the NHS.
NICE have decided to reject fampridine because they don't think it's a cost-effective treatment at the current price offered by the manufacturers.
Everyone deserves access to treatments
Phillip Anderson, our Head of Policy and Evidence, says: “It’s deeply disappointing that NICE has decided not to recommend fampridine for use on the NHS in England.
"Living with MS is relentless, painful and disabling – but we know that fampridine can make a significant difference to people’s walking ability, helping them to live more independent and active lives.
"NICE, NHS England and the manufacturer, Biogen, need to find a solution to make sure everyone who’s eligible for fampridine can access it."
What else is in the updated NICE guideline?
The decision on fampridine is disappointing. But the updated guideline also has some positive recommendations for people with MS.
There’s an increased focus on health and care professionals providing information and support to people who are pregnant, or planning to have children.
We’re also pleased that there's more guidance on advanced MS and end of life care, as well as signposting young carers to support.
And it’s great to see neuro-physios and specialist pharmacists as important members of a multi-disciplinary team. The multi-disciplinary team (or MDT for short) is the group of health and care professionals that should work together to help people manage their MS.
We believe everyone with MS should have access to life-changing treatments, wherever they live. We’re calling for NICE, NHS England and the pharmaceutical company Biogen to work together to find a solution.
You can help by telling us what it would mean to you to have access to fampridine.
We also want to hear from you if you’ve used fampridine privately or as part of a trial.
Speak up now so we can show decision makers the crucial difference fampridine can make to the lives of people with MS.