Biogen’s Fampyra (fampridine) has been recommended for funding by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group after proving to be clinically effective when compared to best supportive care.
Currently the drug is recommended for use in all subtypes of MS, including relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and progressive relapsing MS (PRMS) that have either very limited or no treatment options, depending on disease severity.
Biogen confirmed that the recommendation, however, applies only in circumstances where the approved Wales Patient Access Scheme (WPAS) is utilized, or where the list or contract price is equivalent or lower than the WPAS price.
The decision means that Wales is the first country in the UK to recommend funding for the drug, with the Scottish Medicines Consortium due to review its funding decision in March 2020.
“Although disease-modifying therapies have been shown to be effective in reducing relapse rates and disease progression in people with relapsing remitting MS, they do not specifically target the symptoms of MS, like problems with walking and general mobility, which can have a significant impact on quality of life,” said Dr. Simon Beck, medical director, Biogen UK & Ireland.
He continued, “Two out of every three patients with MS will develop a degree of disability and walking impairment, for which fampridine is licensed, making the AWMSG’s recommendation an important step forward for people in Wales who have, until now, been self- funding their own treatment.”
Ireland granted reimbursement of the treatment in September 2015, along with 12 other countries in Europe.