Fingolimod: another lemon from NICE; not good news for MS’ers

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“Fingolimod has not been recommended for the treatment of relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis in the NHS.”
“There are uncertainties over its clinical effectiveness and, based on the available evidence, it would not be a cost effective use of NHS resources.”
“While clinical trials have shown that fingolimod (also called Gilenya) can reduce the number of relapses in some people who have highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), it is unclear how much the drug may help the specific groups of people for whom it is licensed – i.e. adults with RRMS who experience at least one relapse in a year despite being treated with beta interferons, and adults with rapidly evolving severe RRMS who experience two or more disabling relapses regardless of their treatment.”

“As an MSologist I will have to do something to get this decision reversed; however, it will be difficult justifying using Fingolimod whilst the tablets costs £19,000 per year. Hopefully, Novartis will be flexible regarding the price of the drug for use in the NHS.” 

Additional reading: fingolimod
CoI: Multiple (there is no getting away from these)
Please see other posts on this blog in relation to Fingolimod:
25 Jul 2011
Fingolimod does not promote remyelination. Fingolimod has been shown to work in animal models of MS, and has been approved as a treatment for relapsing-remitting MS. There is controversy in the literature regarding the 
08 Jul 2011
What exactly are you planning on doing to change that Prof G? Having seen the Fingolimod corporate advert extolling its excellence I have to ask that if it is so effective why it is only approved for RRMS patients? 
03 Jun 2011
What exactly are you planning on doing to change that Prof G? Having seen the Fingolimod corporate advert extolling its excellence I have to ask that if it is so effective why it is only approved for RRMS patients? 
30 Apr 2011
In addition to its immune effects Fingolimod readily penetrates the CNS and may have direct effects on neural cells. This central mechanism of action distinguishes Fingolimod from other immunosuppressive drugs and may 
Etc. Please use search term “Fingolimod”

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

5 comments

  • Re 'dust'

    I am sure there is a way around this decision. At the moment the drug is too expensive. If the price comes down and NICE are prepared to give a little bit, a compromise should be possible. Fingolimod is not a cure for MS but it does have some advantages over the injectables. There is definitely a need for it in the UK.

  • Not Good Day for MSers

    Can't Blame EAE for this one, it's firmly at the Door of the men/women in Grey Suits and
    the Greed of the Company.

    Risk Sharing II?

    It will be interesting how other companies
    pitch their new drugs. This is about cash and
    not whether it works

  • Agreed. Fingolimod has been priced way too high. Another example of how the "market" does not work when it comes to pharmaceuticals. The strategy seems to be price as high as the market can stand rather than price lower so everyone can get access to it. I hope this changes soon.

  • This is nuts. I watched last Monday's Panorama where they focused on the costs of excessive alcohol consumption on the NHS and it was huge. We MS'ers have done nothing to get such a vile disease and we continue to get a short shrift.

    BTW, can I please encourage all Muslims with MS and their extended families to donate all zakat collected during Ramadan to MS research charities. Ta.

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