More MS news articles for November 2000

UK industry welcomes NICE rethink on MS drugs

Thursday November 9, 1:18 PM

LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Britain's drugs industry on Thursday welcomed a move by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence to reconsider an earlier recommendation that would strictly limit interferon use in treating multiple sclerosis.

NICE's appeals board upheld some of the appeals against the ruling that the 10,000-pounds-a-year treatment should not be prescribed for patients other than those already receiving it and referred the issue back to the appraisal committee.

"Quite the wrong decision was reached the first time, so the fact that NICE is being told to think again by its own appeal board is encouraging," said Trevor jones, director general of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

Beta interferon is produced by Biogen Inc of the United States, Germany's Schering and Switzerland's Serono SA .

Drug companies have clashed frequently with NICE since it was set up a year ago to assess the cost-effectiveness of treatments handed out by the state health service.

The industry complains that NICE is a "fourth hurdle" in getting their products to market since it judges medicines that have already been approved for sale by regulators on the basis of quality, safety and efficacy.