After being rejected twice in the last four years, Fampyra (fampridine; marketed as Ampyra in the U.S.) is now being recommended by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) for use in the country’s National Health System (NHS) to treat walking disabilities in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Scotland will become the second nation in the United Kingdom to offer the oral treatment; it was favored for use in Wales in December.
The SMC advises NHS Scotland on the clinical and cost effectiveness of all new medicines; once brought into the NHS, they are available to patients at low or no cost.
Fampyra, marketed by Biogen in Europe, will be available to MS patients who have a score of 4.0 to 7.0 on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), meaning significant disability (the higher the EDSS score, the greater is a patient’s disability). It is available as a 10 mg tablet, taken without food twice a day, at morning and at night.
Fampyra was initially rejected in 2016, and at the time Biogen requested a re-evaluation after submitting additional data from clinical trials and real-world studies. Two years later, the SMC again issued a negative opinion, citing the medicine’s poor cost-effectiveness.
The new and favorable opinion “takes into account a confidential discount offered by the pharmaceutical company that improves the cost-effectiveness of fampridine,” the SMC states on its website.
Fampyra (prolonged-release tablets of fampridine) is the first approved treatment to aid walking in adults with MS. It is approved in the United States under the brand name Ampyra, marketed by Acorda Therapeutics.
In MS, the immune system attacks myelin (the protective coating of nerve fibers), disrupting electric signals traveling along nerve fibers from the brain to the body and back. This causes symptoms that can include difficulties with walking.
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