NICE recommends Novartis’ Extavia for MS, but knocks back a raft of other beta interferons

pharmafile | December 20, 2017 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Extavia, MS, NICE, Novartis, beta interferon, multiple sclerosis 

NICE has revealed that it has passed draft guidance that recommends Novartis’ Extavia (interferon beta 1b) for the treatment of relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) or secondary progressive MS with continued relapses in adult patients, provided on the NHS in England and Wales.

The decision comes after negotiations with the manufacturer led to a reduction in the price of the treatment, bringing it down to a realm that can be considered cost-effective for use on the NHS. Extavia’s list price stands at £7,259 per patient per year, and Novartis has agreed to a confidential patient access scheme with the Department of Health.

However, as part of the appraisal, NICE rejected other beta interferons including Avonex, Betaferon, Plegridy and Rebif, as well as glatiramer acetate, in the treatment of MS as it could not deem them cost-effective in the same manner.

Around 116,000 people in England are affected by multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease of the brain and spinal cord characterised by a range of symptoms including vision problems, imbalance and motor control.

“Multiple sclerosis is lifelong condition that can limit people’s ability to work, and to engage in social and family life. Being able to delay the progression of the disease is important to help patients get back to their normal lives,” commented Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE. “We are delighted that Novartis has been able to agree a reduction to the price of Extavia to allow it to be made routinely available to people with this type of multiple sclerosis.

“We are keen to work with the companies for the other drugs to ensure that patients continue to benefit from a choice in treatment for multiple sclerosis.”

Matt Fellows

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