In its draft guidance, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) for the treatment of a rare form of multiple sclerosis in adults known as primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS).
The NICE had earlier disapproved ocrelizumab for the treatment of PPMS after taking into account the cost of therapy. However, NHS England and the manufacturer Roche have agreed on a new commercial arrangement which will make ocrelizumab available for patients with PPMS at a lower cost.
Although evidence shows ocrelizumab to slow the progression of PPMS, there are uncertainties regarding the extent to which it slows down the advance of the condition and the duration for which its effect is sustained. Considering the unmet clinical needs of patients with PPMS, the cost-effectiveness of ocrelizumab compared with supportive care alone makes it a suitable treatment option in the opinion of NICE.
PPMS accounts for 14 per cent of the ~90,000 patients with multiple sclerosis in England. After its approval, ~2700 individuals are estimated to be eligible for treatment with ocrelizumab. The annual per person cost of therapy is expected to be is £19,160.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England said: “This innovative deal shows that NHS England is successfully working with companies to make treatments available for patients who need them, through flexibility and thorough negotiation.”