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Siponimod recommended for use on the NHS in Scotland

Siponimod (Mayzent) has been approved by the Scottish Medicine Consortium (SMC) for people with active secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), meaning those who experience relapses or have evidence of inflammation on MRI scans.

Siponimod is the first oral treatment to be made available on the NHS in Scotland for secondary progressive MS. The only other available treatment for active secondary progressive MS is injected, and siponimod has been shown to be more effective at reducing relapses and delaying cognitive impairment.

Scotland is the first UK nation to confirm it will offer siponimod on the NHS. This is a huge step forward in the treatment of secondary progressive MS and the MS community played a big part in making this happen. Thank you to everyone who shared their stories about why siponimod would benefit them, which were included in our submission to the SMC.

What is siponimod?

Siponimod is a daily oral tablet which works in a similar way to the licensed treatment fingolimod.

It traps certain types of immune cell (called B and T cells) in the body's lymph nodes. This stops them from getting into the brain and spinal cord, where they could cause damage to the protective myelin coating around the nerves.

Siponimod has been found to reduce risk of disability progression for people with active secondary progressive MS by 37% compared with a placebo (dummy drug).

An important development for people with secondary progressive MS

Morna Simpkins, our Director in Scotland said: “This is great news and a hugely important development for people diagnosed with secondary progressive MS in Scotland.

“We want every one of the 15,000 people in Scotland living with MS to have access to the right treatment at the right time and this decision takes us closer than ever to that goal.

“Siponimod will give a treatment option to many people living with MS where once there was none and for some people living with the secondary progressive form of the condition who are able to take beta interferons it provides a less intrusive choice.

"People transitioning from relapsing to secondary progressive MS have faced an immensely difficult challenge – being forced to go from having a range of treatments available to them, to severely limited choices. Today’s decision is the first step towards ensuring people don’t have to do so.”

Siponimod in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

In June 2020 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the SMC’s counterpart in England and Wales, provisionally decided not to recommend siponimod for use on the NHS. We've spoken out against this and a final decision is expected to be made shortly.

A decision is also expected in Northern Ireland in the coming months.

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