Scotland Approves MS Walking Drug

Nicky Broyd

April 14, 2020

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has approved medication for MS, type 2 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, and constipation.


Fampridine (Fampyra, Biogen Idec) was approved to help improve walking in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The decision on the oral treatment came after patient groups highlighted the lack of medical treatment options for MS patients with walking disability.

SMC Chair Dr Alan MacDonald said: "For people with MS who experience walking disability, being able to access a medicine that can improve this even to a limited degree is of benefit, and we know our decision on fampridine will be welcomed."

The MS Society's director in Scotland, Morna Simpkins, said in a statement that it was "fantastic" that fampridine had been approved in Scotland.

"This treatment could be life-changing for many people living with the symptoms of MS – making an important difference to walking and energy levels," she said.

"We hope appraisal bodies in other parts of the UK follow suit as soon as possible, so everyone with MS can access fampridine when they need it," she added.

Last December the NHS in Wales recommended the use of fampridine.

Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin glargine/lixisenatide (Suliqua, Sanofi) was approved as a treatment option for type 2 diabetes alongside metformin in patients whose blood glucose levels are not satisfactorily controlled with metformin and insulin.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ustekinumab (Stelara, Janssen-Cilag) was approved for moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.

Dr MacDonald said: "Ustekinumab offers an alternative treatment option for those patients with ulcerative colitis and may reduce the requirement for surgery in some patients."


Naldemedine (Rizmoic, Shionogi) was approved for constipation caused by opioids.

Dr MacDonald said: "For patients being treated with opioid painkillers such as morphine, naldemedine provides an alternative for treating constipation when previous medicines have been ineffective."


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: