latest health care news

09.05.19

NHS to offer landmark multiple sclerosis drug after negotiating manufacturer’s price down

NHS England has reached a deal with a drug manufacturer to provide patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) with a “landmark” drug after NHS bosses pressured the company to lower its price.

Ocrelizumab will be the first available medicine that can modify or change the course of an early primary progressive form of the disease after NHS England struck a deal with manufacturer Roche, paving the way for its approval by NICE.

This comes after NICE rejected the drugs last September due to its high costs, which led to an outcry and a petition to reverse the decision signed by more than 20,000 people, with several MPs taking up the cause.

But NHS England said that after tough negotiations it had secured a commercial in confidence deal with Roche, which is in the range that NICE considers an acceptable use of NHS resources.

The ‘shelf’ price for ocrelizumab is £19,000 a year, but clinical trial results show that it can slow the worsening of disability in people with the condition to the extent that it can delay wheelchair use by seven years.

MS is a lifelong condition which affects the brain and spinal cord, and this new treatment will help those who have primary progressive multiple sclerosis where symptoms steadily increase over a period of months or years without periods of remission.

The innovative deal unlocks the final stage of NICE’s appraisal, and will allow the NHS to provide routine access to the estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people who have the rare form of the disease.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “Today the NHS is making a significant advance in the care of people living with multiple sclerosis.

“This latest innovative deal is further proof that companies willing to work flexibly with the NHS can secure a constructive partnership that benefits both patients and taxpayers.”

Access to world-class cutting-edge drugs is part of the NHS Long-Term, with NHS England now having more direct involvement with industry, working with NICE to help find deals for patients and taxpayers.

Previous negotiations between drug manufacturers and NHS England have led to patients getting access to several cancer and hepatitis C drugs after lower prices were agreed, although there is currently an ongoing dispute over the price of Orkambi which is used to treat cystic fibrosis.

Genevieve Edwards, from the MS Society, said: “This is a landmark moment and an incredible victory for the more than 21,000 of us who helped overturn this result.

“We now want to see everyone who could benefit from ocrelizumab being able to access it, with increased support for MS services to make sure this happens.”

Top image: Dominic Lipinski via PA 

 

Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professi... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly important given the UK’s agei... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >