The National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE), which advises the NHS on which treatments to provide, has issued draft guidance stating Gilenya (fingolimod) should not be made freely available on the NHS, because the treatment is not ‘cost effective’.
A consultation will now take place, but if the decision remains unchanged then the only way patients will be able to access the treatment is if their PCT or hospital is willing to make an exception and pay for it – resulting in a huge postcode lottery.
A NICE approval for a treatment means that hospitals and PCTs are legally obliged to provide it to any patient who could potentially benefit.
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the MS Society, said: “This is disappointing news for people with MS and it will leave some people with no effective treatment option. Access to MS treatments in the UK is very poor – in fact people with MS would be better off living almost anywhere else in Europe, and this decision will only deepen that inequality.”
Yet more news on how MS treatments cost too much money.
These articles are hitting home pretty hard for me since my insurance company informed me how much money they are going to charge me upfront every year to qualify for Copaxone.