In final draft guidance, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended the use of Sanofi's oral multiple sclerosis drug Aubagio.

Aubagio (teriflunomide), developed by Sanofi's Genzyme unit, is recommended for treating adults with active relapsing-remitting MS but NICE stresses that Sanofi has to provide the drug with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme. The move reverses the decision to not recommend teriflunomide made in the previous draft consultation document issued in September 2013.

Carole Longson, NICE health technology evaluation centre director, noted that at the first draft stage, the committee decided that there was not enough information to recommend Aubagio. However, "as the manufacturer was able to provide updated evidence and analysis during the consultation period the committee was able to make draft recommendations for the use of the drug".

The list price is £1037.84 per 28-tablet pack (excluding VAT) and Sanofi has estimated the annual cost of Aubagio will be £13,529 per patient per year. The company has agreed a patient access scheme with the Department of Health regarding a discount, the level of which is confidential. The DoH adds that the scheme "does not constitute an excessive administrative burden on the NHS".

Pam Macfarlane, chief executive at MS Trust, said that "this is excellent news", adding that it is taken as a tablet and acts in a different way to the current disease- modifying drug therapies. As such, "it will expand the current limited range of treatments available to people with relapsing-remitting MS".