The Scottish Medicines Consortium has approved Roche’s Ocrevus®▼ (ocrelizumab) through the Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process for early primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). The PACE process is used for medicines to treat end of life and very rare conditions.
PACE participants emphasised that PPMS is a progressive, incurable and life-long disease with gradual worsening of symptoms including fatigue, weakness, walking difficulty, bladder problems, muscle spasms, visual problems and memory difficulties. As the disease progresses, patients lose their mobility and independence leading to a reliance on family members and carers.
There are currently no treatment options for PPMS. Ocrelizumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody that is licensed for both active, relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) and early, inflammatory primary-progressive multiple sclerosis in over 89 countries globally, with over 130,000 people having been treated with this first-in-class MS treatment. It can slow the worsening of disability, allowing patients to stay active, remain in work and continue with family and caring responsibilities for longer.
SMC Chairman Dr Alan MacDonald said: “Participants in our PACE meeting for ocrelizumab told us that there are currently no treatments for those with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Our decision on this medicine provides a treatment option that can delay the progression of disability, and we know it will be welcomed.”
Richard Erwin, General Manager, Roche UK, said: “Following many years of dedication and hard work by our scientists and the wider scientific community, today’s news is a landmark in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. People in Scotland with early, primary progressive multiple sclerosis will now be able to benefit from the first ever licensed treatment on the Scottish NHS.
“This underlines our commitment to support people in Scotland, across all of the diseases we cover, to live longer and healthier lives. We are proud to have again worked together with key Scottish stakeholders to make this happen.”