Breakthrough MS pill rejected as too expensive by NHS watchdog (but you can get it in U.S and Germany)

By Jenny Hope

Last updated at 2:31 PM on 5th August 2011

The first pill to treat MS could be banned for use by NHS patients because it’s ‘too expensive’.

The once-a-day pill fingolimod cuts by half the relapses that can lead to people being increasingly disabled, and experts hoped it would replace injections and hospital infusions for thousands of sufferers.

Until now,

The MS Society said sufferers would be better off living almost anywhere else in Europe because access to new treatments is so poor in the UK – it is ranked 13th out of 14 countries in terms of getting advanced care.

The charity and the drug manufacturer Novartis plan to appeal the provisional Nice decision.

MS is the most common disabling neurological condition, affecting almost 100,000 Britons - 50 young people are diagnosed each week.
many people with Multiple Sclerosis have had to self inject at least weekly or travel to hospital for infusions.

But the NHS rationing body, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), says it is not value for money despite criticism over how it reached its verdict.