NICE Gives Green Light to Multiple Sclerosis Drug

Pavankumar Kamat

February 21, 2020

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended peginterferon beta-1a (Plegridy, Biogen Idec) as a treatment option for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) for routine use within NHS England.

Peginterferon beta-1a is recommended for the treatment of adults with relapsing-remitting MS, within its marketing authorisation. The drug has been licensed for the same since 2014.

The recommended dose for peginterferon beta-1a is 125 µg administered subcutaneously every two weeks. Clinical trial evidence has shown peginterferon beta-1a to slow disease progression and decrease the frequency of relapses compared with placebo. Indirect comparison of peginterferon beta-1a with other beta interferons and glatiramer acetate has shown comparable effectiveness; however, peginterferon beta-1a needs to be injected less frequently than other beta interferons.

NICE has determined the cost-effectiveness estimates for peginterferon beta-1a to be favourable for use within the NHS.

In May 2018, NICE had conducted a review of several MS drugs and was unable to make a recommendation on peginterferon beta-1a at that time. However, NICE has reversed its earlier decision after a separate appraisal.

Commenting on the decision in a news release, David Martin, chief executive officer of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust, said: "We are pleased that NICE has approved Plegridy for people with relapsing-remitting MS."

Adapted from Univadis from Medscape.

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