SMC says yes to Aubagio (teriflunomide)

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The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has published its advice that Aubagio (teriflunomide) 14 mg tablets have been accepted for use by NHS Scotland for the treatment of adults with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, as an alternative to the currently available treatment options beta interferon or glatiramer acetate. The guidance does not include patients with highly active multiple sclerosis.

“The prevalence of multiple sclerosis in Scotland is one of the highest in the world, so the approval of Aubagio as another treatment option will be welcomed by the Scottish multiple sclerosis community. Aubagio is an oral drug, taken once daily and this makes it an exciting development both for people with multiple sclerosis and their clinicians, providing more choice and an alternative to injections. This is a really positive development for the future of treatment for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis,” comments Amy Bowen, director of Service Development at the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

The guidance published by the SMC represents an important step in improving the standard of care available to people with the disease. “Multiple sclerosis is a real concern in Scotland as it is a debilitating disease which has a high prevalence. This is good news for people with multiple sclerosis in Scotland and a significant milestone in improving the care of multiple sclerosis patients here,” says Belinda Weller, consultant neurologist, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Aubagio is the first medicine in Genzyme’s pipeline of multiple sclerosis therapies to receive final SMC guidance and become available to patients in Scotland.

Aubagio is an immunomodulator with anti-inflammatory properties. The exact mechanism by which teriflunomide exerts its therapeutic effect in multiple sclerosis is not fully understood, but this is mediated by a reduced number of lymphocytes.  Aubagio is supported by an extensive multicentre, multicountry clinical programme, with more than 2,700 trial participants.  Some patients in extension trials have been treated for up to 8.5 years.