Nice backs multiple sclerosis pill

A new once-a-day pill which helps multiple sclerosis sufferers could soon be made available on the NHS offering an "easier" treatment for people living with the debilitating disease.

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Nice has given a provisional green light to the use of a new pill to treat relapsing-remitting MS

A new once-a-day pill which helps multiple sclerosis sufferers could soon be made available on the NHS offering an "easier" treatment for people living with the debilitating disease.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has given a provisional green light to the use of a new drug to treat relapsing-remitting MS.

The MS Society said that teriflunomide, which is also called Aubagio, would be an easier alternative to current injectable therapies.

In new draft guidance, Nice recommended the use of the treatment - an anti-inflammatory which works by blocking proliferation of stimulated lymphocytes.

Nick Rijke, director for policy and research at the MS Society, said: "This is very good news for people with relapsing forms of MS.

"Ninety per cent of people with MS want an alternative to treatments by regular injection and now, at last, there is a first-line treatment available.

"Teriflunomide offers a similar treatment effect to the current injectable therapies, but for many people will be much easier to live with because it's a pill."

Professor Carole Longson, director of Nice's Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said: "Nice are very pleased to be able to recommend teriflunomide for adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

"At the first draft stage the committee decided that there was not enough information to recommend teriflunomide, but 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."

MS is a chronic, disabling, neurological condition. It affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing problems with muscle movement, balance and vision.