This means that Wales will be the first country in the UK to make Fampyra routinely available on the NHS to people with MS-related walking difficulties.
The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) made its decision following a review of the clinical and financial evidence. If a medicine is recommended for use, the NHS in Wales is required to provide funding for the medicine within two months of the recommendation. This new decision reverses an earlier appraisal by AWMSG which found that Fampyra was not cost-effective.
In Scotland, Fampyra is currently not recommended for use within the NHS; this decision is due to be reviewed in March 2020. 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.
We are extremely pleased that people in Wales will finally have access to Fampyra. Walking problems affect many of the things we all take for granted and even small improvements can bring many benefits to someone living with MS, as well as to their family, carers, and society as a whole. 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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