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HSE announces funds for MS drug
03 Sep 2015 08:08
The Health Service Executive has said it is to fund a life-changing drug for people with multiple sclerosis after a year-long campaign by MS sufferers.
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The cost of Fampyra or Fampridine, which helps the mobility of MS patients who have a walking disability, has not been covered since the end of clinical trials in Ireland in May of 2014.
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For the past year MS sufferers have had to pay up to €500 a month for the drug.
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For some patients it has a dramatic effect on their ability to walk.
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It is understood the HSE has now reached an agreement with the manufacturers, Biogen Idec, to supply it for patients who have responded positively to it.
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About half of people who are prescribed Fampridine respond well to the drug so it is usually tested for a two-week period to assess its clinical benefit.
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Only patients for whom it is proven to work will receive the drug for free.
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The HSE said it expects to confirm the reimbursement date soon, but a Department of Health source said the scheme is likely to begin next month.
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