Europe – Dismay as NICE rejects Roche’s MS drug Ocrevus

Treatment deemed too costly to treat primary progressive MS. The NHS will not fund treatment with Roche’s recently-approved multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus, even though it is the only treatment for the primary progressive form of the disease.

The final appraisal document from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has caused consternation among patients – and an immediate petition from the MS Society – for Roche, NHS England and NICE to reach an agreement that will allow the drug to be covered for PPMS.

Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) is currently available on the NHS in England and Wales to treat people with relapsing-remitting forms of the disease (RRMS) on the NHS, but NICE says the drug costs too much and, while trial results show that it can slow the worsening of disability in people with the condition, “the size and duration of this effect are uncertain”.

Roche has offered an undisclosed discount on the £4,790 per 300mg vial list price for Ocrevus – which is administered as two 300mg infusions two weeks apart followed by a single 600mg infusion every six months – but is being hamstring by the fact that Ocrevus is already available for RRMS at its full price…