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Roche's Ocrevus cleared for NHS use in relapsing-remitting MS

Published on 22/06/18 at 09:59am

Roche and multiple sclerosis (MS) patients across England and Wales are celebrating the news that healthcare watchdog NICE has recommended the use of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) on the NHS in relapsing-remitting forms of the condition.

The decision was made in relation to active disease defined by clinical or imaging features in the event that alemtuzumab is contraindicated or otherwise unsuitable for use. Ocrevus has proven its ability to reduce the number of relapses experienced by users per year by almost 50%, and has additionally been shown to slow the risk of disease progression, giving it an edge over subcutaneous interferon beta-1a, the current standard of care in MS.

Around 100,000 UK citizens are affected by MS, and 100 more are diagnosed each week. Of these 100,000, relapsing-remitting forms account for around 85% of cases.

“There is significant unmet need in the treatment of MS, particularly for those with PPMS who currently have no disease-modifying treatment options,” said Jo Sopala, Director of Development at MS Trust. “We welcome this positive NICE review for RRMS, and hope that it brings us closer to the treatment being made available to people with early PPMS too.”

Dr Marius Scholtz, Integrated Franchise Lead, Neuroscience at Roche UK, also commented: “As of today, over 50,000 patients have received treatment with ocrelizumab worldwide and we are delighted that NICE has now recognised ocrelizumab as a cost-effective new treatment option for NHS patients with RRMS. It is important that we continue to work collaboratively with NICE to ensure people with early PPMS are also able to access ocrelizumab through the NHS as soon as possible.”

Matt Fellows

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