Fampyra (fampridine) has been recommended for use by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) to improve walking for people with an EDSS score of between 4 and 7.
The SMC made its decision following a review of the clinical and financial evidence, and reported that a discount from the pharmaceutical company meant that it was now cost-effective. If you live in Scotland, you should now be able to get Fampyra on the NHS. This new decision reverses two earlier appraisals by SMC which found that Fampyra was not cost-effective.
This was the third attempt to get approval for use on the NHS in Scotland for people with MS-related walking difficulties. Success means that Scotland follows Wales to be the second country in the UK to make Fampyra routinely available on the NHS. In England, the NICE Clinical Guideline does not recommend Fampyra as a treatment for lack of mobility as it is not considered to be cost-effective. The Guideline is being updated and the cost-effectiveness of Fampyra is one of the areas which will be reconsidered.
This is terrific news for Scotland - third time lucky! We are extremely pleased that people in Scotland will finally have access to Fampyra. Walking problems affect many of the things we all take for granted and even small improvements can bring huge benefits in quality of life to those affected by MS, as well as to their family and carers. We hope that this recommendation will lead to this treatment being more widely available throughout the UK.
David Martin, Chief Executive, MS Trust
Fampyra can be prescribed for the improvement of MS-related walking difficulties in people with EDSS score of 4-7 (EDSS 4 = able to walk for 500m without aid, EDSS 7 = able to walk no more than 5m even with aid). It can only be prescribed by a doctor experienced in the management of MS.
About one in three people find that Fampyra improves their walking. On average, walking speed improves by about 25%.
A walking test, for example the time taken to walk 25 feet, is carried out before starting treatment and again two to four weeks later. If there is an improvement in walking, the prescription of Fampyra is continued.
Fampyra is taken as a tablet twice daily. Common side effects include urinary tract infections, dizziness, headache, back pain, difficulty sleeping, feeling sick and stomach upsets. Fampyra is associated with an increased risk of seizures, particularly if the recommended dose is exceeded, so it is important to leave 12 hours between each tablet.
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