Uproar Over National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) Rejection of Novartis AG MS Pill
8/5/2011 7:00:49 AM
Campaigners have expressed disappointment after the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) rejected the first pill to treat multiple sclerosis. The MS Society urged the medicines watchdog and drug firm Novartis to work together so that Gilenya – also called fingolimod – can be reappraised. In draft guidance which is subject to consultation, Nice rejected the drug due to "uncertainties" over its effectiveness, a lack of appropriate data and concerns over cost-effectiveness. It said it was unclear how much the drug would help the specific group of people for whom it was licensed – adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) who experienced at least one relapse a year despite being treated with beta interferon drugs. Another group of patients suitable for the drug were those with rapidly evolving severe RRMS, who experience two or more disabling relapses regardless of their treatment.