Deal struck on disease-modifying MS treatment

After negotiations with the manufacturer of the monoclonal antibody ocrelizumab, NHS England has secured a discount that has enabled NICE to recommend it as an option for treating early primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), with imaging features characteristic of inflammatory activity, in adults.

When the original final appraisal of ocrelizumab was published in September 2018, NICE accepted that there were no current disease‑modifying treatments for PPMS. However, with the most plausible cost-effectiveness estimates, NICE considered the costs to be ‘much higher than those NICE normally considers an acceptable use of limited NHS resources‘, which led to an initial determination that the drug could not be recommended for use in the NHS.

After the initial determination, NHS England entered into negotiations with the manufacturer, resulting in an arrangement that secured a simple discount patient access scheme for ocrelizumab, in conjunction with a commercial access agreement. 

The agreements have brought the drug in line with NICE’s cost‑effectiveness threshold, allowing NICE to recommend that it be routinely accessible for eligible patients. This marks another success for the ongoing constructive partnerships between the NHS and industry.

NHS England estimates 2700 patients could be eligible for treatment with ocrelizumab.