The MS Society responds as MS therapy Fampyra is rejected

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has announced its decision to reject Fampyra – also known as fampridine – for use in England. The drug was developed by Acorda Therapeutics and is manufactured by Elan Corporation.

The treatment can significantly improve walking ability and quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), but will not be used across the NHS in England.

The controversial decision arrives in spite of the fact that the drug is already approved for use in neighbouring Scotland and Wales. It is also available widely in the US.

Phillip Anderson, head of policy at the MS Society, was very disappointed by the verdict: “NICE’s decision not to recommend fampridine will come as a crushing blow to many in the MS community. Living with MS can be relentless, painful and disabling, but evidence shows us that fampridine can be life-changing for some people. Over 400 people with MS told us what a difference it could make for them, potentially significantly improving walking ability and quality of life.”

“The fact that fampridine has been approved for use on the NHS in Scotland and Wales shows that access is possible, which makes it completely unjust that it has been rejected for people with MS in England.

“We urge both the NHS and the manufacturer to get back round the negotiating table and make fampridine available for people with MS who can benefit. Everyone deserves access to effective treatments, no matter where they live,” he added.