Ocrelizumab is an experimental drug which has been tested as a treatment
for relapsing remitting and primary progressive MS.

It is taken as an intravenous infusion every six months. Last November, the European Commission granted marketing authorisation for the drug to treat both active relapsing MS and early active primary progressive MS.

Since then, UK bodies had been assessing it.

In June, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved it as a treatment for relapsing remitting MS, but rejected it for primary progressive MS in England and Wales.

And now the Scottish Medical Consortium (SMC) has delivered its verdict.

It says 
it is unable to recommend it as an NHS treatment for relapsing remitting MS
in Scotland.
It does not consider the drug to be cost effective for the NHS in Scotland as a treatment for relapsing remitting MS in comparison to the existing disease modifying drugs, the SMC said.

The body states that Roche, the manufacturer of the drug, did not present a sufficiently robust economic assessment of the drug’s use for it to be accepted.

According to reports, the SMC submission for ocrelizumab for primary progressive MS has now been withdrawn.

Ms charity the MS Trust reacted with disappointment to the news.
Direct of development Jo Sopala said:  “We are very concerned at the continuing delay for people with MS to access ocrelizumab in Scotland.

“For people with relapsing MS, it
expands the range of MS treatments
by offering a different dosing schedule,
a different mode of action, minimal monitoring and a low risk of side effects compared to existing disease modifying drugs.

“In primary progressive MS, ocrelizumab is the first treatment which has been shown to slow down progression.

“We will continue to make the strongest possible case for NHS Scotland’s approval of ocrelizumab for both relapsing and primary progressive MS.”