The Health Service Executive has said its drugs committee will meet to reconsider a decision not to fund a life-changing drug for multiple sclerosis sufferers.

Fampyra, or Fampridine, which is made by Biogen Idec, costs between €220 and €500 for a monthly dose.

Patients were receiving the drug for free until July of this year, but since then they have had to start paying for it themselves.

The drug helps MS patients to walk and walk faster.

It does not work for everyone, but some of the 1,000 or so patients taking the drug have claimed it has meant the difference between whether they could leave their homes unaided or not.

In May 2013, the HSE decided not to approve the reimbursement of the drug under any of its free schemes as the manufacturer had failed to formally justify the high price it was charging.

Earlier this year, patients stopped getting the drug for free and now have to pay up to €500 for a monthly dose.

The HSE has since had further contact with the makers of the drug.

It has said its drugs committee will reconsider the outcome of its commercial discussions with the manufacturer before the end of next month.

Independent TD Denis Naughten, who raised the plight of MS patients on a number of occasions in the Dáil, has called on the HSE to ensure that the drug is provided under one of its free schemes.