Further oral MS treatment approved by NICE

NICE has accepted dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera) for NHS use in certain patients with active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Although the exact mechanism of action of methyl fumarate in multiple sclerosis is not fully understood, it is believed to reduce inflammation via the Nrf2-dependent antioxidant pathway | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Although the exact mechanism of action of methyl fumarate in multiple sclerosis is not fully understood, it is believed to reduce inflammation via the Nrf2-dependent antioxidant pathway | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The technology appraisal specifies that dimethyl fumarate should not be used in patients with highly active or rapidly-evolving severe RRMS and that the manufacturer must provide the drug with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme. RRMS is normally defined as two clinically significant relapses in the previous two years.

Biogen Idec launched Tecfidera in March this year. It is formulated as a tablet and is taken twice daily with food.

Increases potential treatment options for MS

This latest approval from NICE follows positive opinions on teriflunomide (Aubagio) and alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis published earlier this year.

NICE guidance on dimethyl fumarate for treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

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