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NICE approves drug for MS patients


A drug which helps people with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been granted final approval by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

NICE has recommended Tysabri (natalizumab) for sufferers of rapidly evolving severe relapsing-remitting MS as it prevents immune cells from leaving the bloodstream.

This means they cannot reach areas of inflammation such as MS lesions in the brain and spinal cord.

This then helps to limit further damage, so that relapses occur less often and the disability caused by MS gets worse more slowly.

There is now a legal requirement for NHS funding to be put in place to cover the treatment within the next three months.

Around 3,000 people are expected to benefit from the decision.

Professor Gavin Giovannoni, from the Royal London Hospital, said: “This is an important decision that offers to transform the lives of people with highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis by delaying the progression of their disease, thereby allowing them to enjoy a more active and fulfilled life.

“Following the NICE guidance, our priority now must be to ensure that those patients with the most highly active form of MS have access to this treatment.”

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