No recommendation for fampridine in Scotland
12 April 2012
The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has announced that it is unable to recommend fampridine (Fampyra) for use by the NHS in Scotland. This decision was made as the manufacturer of fampridine did not make a marketing submission to the SMC regarding the use of the drug to help with walking disability in people with MS.
Fampridine was made available in the UK, in the Autumn of 2011, to improve walking in people with MS, who have a walking disability (defined as scoring 4-7 on the Expanded Disability Status Scale). Walking problems are common in people with MS and may be caused by a wide variety of factors. Not everyone (approximately 50%) experiences improvements in walking after taking fampridine. The drug can only be prescribed by a specialist doctor experienced in the management of MS.
Decisions whether to fund fampridine in Scotland are currently made by NHS Health boards based on individual need and within local budgetary limits.
The SMC issues guidance on whether treatments should be funded by the NHS in Scotland. NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence), which plays a similar role in England, has not appraised fampridine. NICE is expected to consider the issue of funding, but this may be part of the consideration of the NICE MS Clinical Guidelines, which are expected to be reviewed in the next 2-3 years.