A new treatment for relapsing MS called ocrelizumab (drug name Ocrevus) has been recommended by NICE. It should be available on the NHS in England and Wales within the next 3 months.
A decision will be made for people in Scotland and Northern Ireland over the coming months.
Why did they change their mind?
You might remember NICE initially made a draft recommendation against ocrelizumab. But they changed their mind after receiving insights from that you we fed back, comments from Roche (who manufacture the drug) and others.
What about ocrelizumab for progressive MS?
In September 2018 NICE decided not to make ocrelizumb available for primary progressive MS. We're campaigning to change that.
What's next for ocrelizumab and relapsing MS?
The NHS will now have a legal obligation to provide the treatment to anyone with relapsing MS whose health care professional prescribes it to them.
Who can take ocrelizumab?
It will only be available to people who are unable or unwilling to take alemtuzumab.
Trials show ocrelizumab reduces relapses and the build-up of disability and carries less serious side effects than other highly effective treatments.
How do you take ocrelizumab?
It's taken as two intravenous infusions, given 14 days apart. It's then taken as a single infusion every six months.
More options mean better health outcomes
Our Chief Executive Michelle says:
“This is great news for people with relapsing MS. Access to a range of treatments is essential as MS affects everyone differently. More options mean better health outcomes, especially for anyone who can't take other existing MS drugs.
“We’re looking forward to this medicine being widely available on the NHS in England and Wales.”
This article was updated on Monday 10 September 2018 to reflect NICE's decision on ocrelizumab and primary progressive MS.