In final guidance, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended the use of Genzyme’s multiple sclerosis drug teriflunomide (also called Aubagio) for adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
According to a press release, the NHS now has a legal obligation to begin funding this treatment for eligible patients within the next three months.
“Current treatments all need to be injected, and can be associated with unpleasant side effects. As an oral treatment with a different side-effect profile, teriflunomide offers a new option for treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which could have a substantial impact on quality of life for people with the disease,” says Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre director.
Teriflunomide is recommended for treating adults with active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (normally defined as two clinically significant relapses in the previous two years) if they do not have highly active or rapidly evolving severe relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and the manufacturer provides teriflunomide with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme.
Nick Rijke, director for policy and research at the Multiple Sclerosis Society comments: “We have been waiting a long time for a tablet to be available for early stage multiple sclerosis, so this is excellent news. As well as making another valuable treatment available for people with the disease, many people will be delighted to have the option of a tablet rather than regular injections, which can be difficult to manage.”