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In development, licensed and approved; the confusing world of MS Drugs

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In my day to day work I spend a lot of time of Facebook and Twitter, I post news articles and pick up on questions people might have for the MS Trust. I notice a lot of people (including myself) get very confused about drugs that are in development for MS. You see a news item about something like Sativex getting a licence, which will excite a lot of people thinking this entitles them to be able to have the treatment, but when they try to get it, they get turned down as the drug is not yet approved by the NHS. Same thing with Fingolimod, people get excited about there being a new oral drug on the market, but no you can’t actually have it as NICE haven’t yet decided if it is worth the money yet.

So we at the MS Trust wanted to try and simplify things for people finding out about drugs and where in the development they are, because there are many phases that a drug passes through before being an approved drug to use. Here on our research pages you can see some simple graphics explaining how far the drug has gone down the development route.

This also actually shows that there is a lot of research being done into new drugs, and that all new potential drugs aren’t just for relapsing remitting MS either. There is research being done into drugs both for secondary and progressive MS.

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