Published: May 22, 2019

NHS to offer 'pioneering' drug to help thousands of multiple sclerosis sufferers

NHS England has reached a deal with drug manufacturer Roche to provide multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with a ‘landmark’ drug, which is said to be able to delay the need for a wheelchair by seven years.

The drug Ocrelizumab (also known as ocrevus) is a revolutionary medicine for patients who have primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) in the UK. Around 2,700 people could be eligible for this treatment.

Clinical trial results show that Ocrelizumab can slow the worsening of disability in people with the condition, helping patients stay able and active for longer.

MS is a lifelong condition which affects the brain and spinal cord. Within the human body, the immune system makes special cells that attack and kill virus and bacteria, however, people who have MS, these special cells attack the nerves by mistake.

Ocrelizumab sticks to one type of these cells called B cells. This stops them getting into the brain and spinal cord where they would attack the myelin covering around the nerves. This stops inflammation and damage to the nerve.

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough evidence to show Ocrelizumab can work for everyone, and the restrictions will be a massive blow for those who still don’t have any options.


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9th September 2020

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