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News and Opinions about MS, Health & Disability

MS bodies look for NICE support for PPMS treatment

Leading MS organisations are seeking support to gain approval for ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) to treat all primary progressive MS (PPMS). It is already approved for use against early PPMS.

ocrelizumabBoth of the UK’s MS Society and MS Trust are campaigning to get the medication approved for wider use by the country’s National Health Service (NHS). And they are seeking the support of patients, carers, and health professionals in their efforts to influence the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

NICE is currently assessing ocrelizumab for PPMS to decide whether it should be prescribed by the NHS in England and Wales.

The MS Society said: “We’ll be telling NICE why people with both primary progressive and relapsing MS should be able to access ocrelizumab through the NHS.

“We want to hear from people who’d like to take ocrelizumab, to support our submission to NICE.

Tell what it’s like to live with PPMS

“Do you have relapsing MS and think you’d benefit from taking it? Or, if you have primary progressive MS, can you help us tell NICE what it’s like to live with, and why the first treatment option matters to you?”

To give the society your views, you are asked to send an email here.

The MS Trust says it will be explaining to NICE why it thinks ocrelizumab should be made available on the NHS.

The trust also appealed for support. It said: “To help us make a strong case, we want to hear your experiences of living with PPMS, your views on current NHS care for PPMS and your thoughts on ocrelizumab.

“We’d like to hear from you if:

        you have primary progressive MS

        you have a different type of MS, but would like to add your views

       you are a partner / friend / relative / carer of someone with PPMS

      you are a health professional providing care for people with PPMS

“Tell us what you think by completing this short questionnaire by 14 February.”

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.

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Cuts proposed to MS treatment options

It cannot be right, it really can’t! People with multiple sclerosis are facing being denied access to five previously approved disease modifying therapies (DMTs). This shocking development would affect people who are newly diagnosed or those wishing to change to a different drug.

The proposal to cut the number of treatment options comes in the form of a draft recommendation from the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Its preliminary proposal would affect people with MS in England and Wales who receives treatment via the country’s National Health Service (NHS).

NICE’s role is to provide national guidance and advice to improve health and social care.

A consultation period on the proposed recommendation ends this Wednesday, January 24, so very little time remains for patients, doctors, caregivers and others can make their views known. To add your comment, click on this link.

NICE is to meet again on March 6 to review comments received, and discussions it has had with the drugs’ manufacturers, before it makes its final recommendation.

treatment optionsThe good news is that, under the preliminary proposal, anyone with MS who is already on one of these treatments would be able to continue to take them.

NICE’s draft recommendation, if confirmed, would mean the cheapest drug Extavia (interferon beta-1b) would continue to be available on the NHS for new patients. But five others would no longer be treatment options because of costs.

The five medications that NICE is proposing to make unavailable to people who are newly diagnosed, or want to change their treatments, are:

  • Avonex (interferon beta-1a)
  • Betaferon (interferon beta-1b)
  • Copaxone (glatiramer acetate)
  • Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a)
  • Rebif (interferon beta-1a)

NICE says it has made the draft recommendation because it believes that while all the treatment options have a similar clinical effect, only Extavia is cost-effective.

Treatment options: a step backwards

Both the MS Society and MS Trust are ranged against the proposal.

MS Society director of external affairs Genevieve Edwards says the society doesn’t want to see patient choice limited in this way.

She said: “While people with MS already receiving these treatments can be assured they won’t have to come off them, we’re worried about what this proposal means for the future of patient choice. We have made so much progress on treatment options for people with MS, and it would be a significant step backwards if people with MS were now left with less choice and potentially no effective option.

“We want the companies who make these drugs to keep negotiating and come to a deal with NICE and NHS England so patients don’t lose out. Everyone with MS should be able to get fair and equal access to the right treatments at the right time.”

A statement from the MS Trust says it is very disappointed in the initial decision.

It says: We do not believe that NICE’s recommendations are in the best interests of people with MS or the NHS.  We strongly believe that all current treatments should remain available as treatment options for all eligible patients.

“NICE has acknowledged that all six drugs are equally effective at reducing the number of relapses and slowing down disability progression. The decision to approve Extavia and not the other five drugs all comes down to cost – Extavia is the cheapest option.

“These recommendations would take away choice from people with MS.  In our view, the recommendations do not take account of:

  • the differences in how treatments are administered
  • the diverse lifestyles of people with MS, and how different treatments suit different people
  • the differing tolerances of individuals to the side effects of the drugs”

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.

 

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MS therapy alemtuzumab is named a ‘rip-off’ drug, report

Pharmaceutical companies sell some MS disease modifying therapies (DMTs) at extortionate prices. Big pharma stands accused of setting prices to rip-off the public, and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Who’d have thought it? I am shocked (well, no, not really).

One such drug labelled a rip-off, and used to treat multiple sclerosis, is alemtuzumab. It goes by the brand name of Lemtrada.

rip-offA new report has revealed these facts in its findings. Titled Pills and profits – How drug companies make a killing out of public research, it was published by Global Justice Now.

According to MS-UK’s website:

Alemtuzumab was developed at Cambridge University and purchased by Sanofi Genzyme and was originally approved for the treatment of B-cell chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia. Cambridge scientists discovered it could also be used to treat MS and it was utilised for this non-licensed purpose at a cost of around £2,500 per treatment course in 2012.

rip-offSanofi Genzyme withdrew the drug from the market and re-launched later as an MS medicine at a far higher price per dose. It now costs £56,000 per treatment course, which is a 2140% price increase.

Drugs used for the treatment of cancer, arthritis and MS are among a number of drugs that are costing the NHS billions each year despite a significant amount of money being used to fund the development of such medicines.

The UK government is the second largest funder country, after the US, for research and development (R&D) in diseases that predominantly affect poor countries. The UK government spent £2.3 billion on health R&D in 2015 alone. Globally, it is estimated that the public pays for two-thirds of all upfront drug R&D costs, with around a third of new medicines originating in public research institutions.

Rip-off of public money

The new report highlights the level of UK public money used to develop new drugs, with two out of five of the NHS’s most expensive drugs discovered using substantial public money. It also calls for greater transparency in drug pricing and on where taxpayer money is being spent, as well as a radical overhaul in the way R&D of new medicines are funded.

The pharmaceutical industry often claims that high prices are a direct result of high research and development costs. However, the process for setting drug prices remains unknown and is shrouded in secrecy.

Heidi Chow of Global Justice Now, one of the co-authors of the report said: “Big pharmaceutical companies are ripping us off by taking over drugs developed with substantial public money and selling the drugs back to the NHS at extortionate prices. This is nothing short of daylight robbery of British taxpayers by some of the most profitable corporations in the world. It’s about time politicians take a stand to ensure that drugs produced from publicly-funded research are affordable for the NHS.

“Across the world, 10 million people are dying needlessly because they can’t access vital medicines. The government must take action to ensure that UK-funded research benefits public health globally rather than lining corporate pockets.”

Strong words indeed but, I would say, undoubtedly justified.

I applaud the researchers and authors of the report, and Global Justice Now for publishing it. This despicable behaviour is nothing short of blatant profiteering. Let’s stop it.  NOW.

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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After Long Wait, Zinbryta Gains Approval in Areas of the UK

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News that daclizumab, brand name Zinbryta, has been given the go-ahead to be available through the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) for treating relapsing MS, at least in part of the country, is good news. But why has the decision taken so long?

Possibly, because the first decision, last September, was ‘no.’

The latest decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) covers only England and Wales. Hopefully, similar announcements will be made for people in Scotland and Northern Ireland in coming months.

The decision means the NHS will have a legal obligation to provide the treatment to people with relapsing MS, whose health care professional prescribes it to them.

But there are conditions.

Patients must have either:

  • “Active” relapsing MS that’s been treated with another disease-modifying treatment, or;
  • “Rapidly evolving severe” MS (defined by at least two relapses in the previous year and an MRI scan showing new lesions)

And it will be available only to people who are unable or unwilling to take alemtuzumab.

Interestingly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zinbryta early last year and the European Medical Agency (EMA) followed suit in June, but it has taken another nine months for NICE to make up its mind. I find such a delay completely unacceptable.

Isn’t it time that countries around the world got together and presented a united front on new medications being brought out for the use of those of us who need them? Shouldn’t we consider such new treatments and give necessary approvals globally, not on a piecemeal basis, as we do now?

Of course, such revolutionary thinking is never likely to be taken seriously, as it would mean the dismantling of national organizations such as the FDA. Well, why not? On the other side of the Atlantic, there is one body that does the job for nearly 30 countries — the EMA.

If one organization can cover all Europe, why can’t an international one cover the whole world? Reducing the number of approval bodies should cut costs, too.

But it would need its decisions to include that medical insurance companies would have to pay for it to be provided to patients, and for it to be available through the NHS, without further consideration.

Could it work? Of course! Everything is possible. Will it ever happen? Not a chance

This article, written by me, was first published by Multiple Sclerosis News Today.

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[You are invited to visit my personal MS, Health & Disability website at 50shadesofsun.com].

50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/disorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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New treatments may be available faster

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People living in the UK could get faster access, through the country’s National Health Service (NHS), to what are described as ‘innovative’ new treatments following recommendations set out this week in the government’s Accelerated Access Review report, led by an independent chairman Sir Hugh Taylor.. This could include treatments for MS.

The move does not include existing medications, but is restricted to new, potential treatments that aren’t available yet but have shown promising results.

It is hoped that this could include treatments for multiple sclerosis but, in truth, no-one seems to know yet

treatments

Accelerated Access Review chairman Sir Hugh Taylor.

Under the new proposals, everyday people in patient representative groups will help choose which drugs should be included. They’ll work alongside health bodies and drug companies in a new partnership.

To choose treatments, together these groups will look at a range of criteria. This includes deciding which drugs are ‘transformative’ – meaning they have the potential to make the biggest impact.

Chosen treatments would then get greater support to make sure they are available sooner through the NHS.

It’s not yet clear whether or not future MS treatments will be chosen. It seems that is likely to depend on two things:

  • whether there are future MS treatments in the pipeline that could make a big impact on people’s health;
  • the final scope of any changes introduced after the Government has considered these proposals.

These proposals are groundbreaking for both the NHS and patients alike. At the moment, to get new NHS treatments approved involves research, licensing and analysis of cost and clinical effectiveness than can take several years.

The UK’s MS Society was actively involved in the government’s Accelerated Access Review, and mate its contribution to the consultation earlier this year.

It highlighted the important contribution that people with MS make to every stage of the research it funds and welcomes the fact that the final report recommending that people using NHS services should be involved in making decisions every step of the way.

The society’s Interim Assistant Director of Research Dr Emma Gray said: “We are pleased to see the integral part that people being treated in the NHS will play in these proposals. And we welcome a new pathway to speed up the access to transformative treatments.

“It’s currently unclear whether future MS treatments will benefit from this proposed pathway, but we will be following the progress of these recommendations.”d is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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ian profile

50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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New drugs to face affordability test

Proposed changes to the UK’s drug approval process should be the subject of an honest debate according the country’s Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The changes will mean the National Health Service (NHS) in England will assess how much it can afford to pay for new drugs.

Under the plan, new drugs that are expected to cost the NHS more than £20 million a year would be subject to a ‘budget impact test’.

If drugs are considered to be cost effective by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)  but expensive for NHS England’s budget, they could face delays or restrictions on being introduced. To me, this seems to turning the clock back on health care by several years.

Pic: MS Society.

Pic: MS Society.

Based on what is so far known about the plans now, the MS Society believe it’s unlikely that existing MS treatments available on the NHS would be affected by these changes. However, it wants to make sure that any new MS treatments aren’t rationed or restricted due to their cost.

On the society’s website, it says that an affordability test would be a big change in the way new treatments are assessed. It continues: “Currently, new drugs are tested for value for money. This means the potential benefits of a new drug are considered in relation to its cost. How much the NHS can afford to pay for the drug is not tested.”

The society’s assistant director of external affairs Ian Fannon at the said: “People with MS need access to effective treatments as quickly as possible – this is essential to managing the condition, slowing progression and improving quality of life. Not only does this prevent avoidable harm, it reduces cost for the NHS in the long term.

“We do understand the NHS is under financial pressure but the case for increasing investment in the NHS grows stronger by the day. Ever tightening rationing could have serious consequences for those who could benefit from new treatments. We need an honest debate about this.

“Equally, this poses a challenge to the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the price they offer the NHS for their drugs is fair and reasonable.

“We need to examine the details of these proposals more closely and will be responding in full to the consultation.”

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ian profile50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Just two weeks to fight for MS treatment

Anyone wishing to take issue with the draft recommendation to not make daclizumab1 (Zinbryta) be made available as a treatment on the NHS in England and Wales has just 15 days to do so. Comments must be received by Friday October 21.

So, if you want a change of heart, don’t delay. The time to stand up for MS patients is now!

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is responsible for evaluating new drugs and treatments, along with their costs. It then makes recommendations as to whether or not they should be available through the country’s National Health Service (NHS) in England and Wales. Other parts of the UK have their own guidance bodies.

daclizumabIn a document published on the NICE website, the appraisal committee’s preliminary recommendation states: “Daclizumab is not recommended within its marketing authorisation for treating relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in adults.”

The committee was critical of the analysis submitted by the manufacturer of the cost effectiveness of daclizumab, compared with other disease modifying treatments.

The NICE appraisal committee is scheduled to have another meeting on November 2. It is expected to review the comments received together with further evidence from the manufacturer.

NICE is expected to publish its final guidance next year.

1 Daclizumab is an experimental drug treatment being developed for relapsing MS. It is taken as an injection under the skin, once a month. In clinical trials, daclizumab reduced relapse rates by approximately 50% compared to placebo and by 45% compared to beta interferon. The drug was licensed in Europe in July 2016.

Serious infections, serious skin reactions and impaired liver function occurred more frequently in people treated with daclizumab than in other treatment groups.

 

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HSCT free on the NHS – “ask us your questions” irresistible offer

Here’s some great news. Anyone who would like first-hand information about any aspect of getting HSCT free of charge from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), you don’t need to look any further.

HSCT free

James Coates.

Whether you want to know about the application process or details of the treatment itself, your questions can be answered.

Three days ago, I brought you news of the fact the HSCT had been given to James Coates by the NHS, along with his progress at 45 days after his transplant.

Since then, his wife Alison has told me that both she and James are happy to answer your questions via Facebook.  Alison said: “Ian, if any of your enquirers would like to talk to us directly, do tell them to drop us a line on here – happy to answer any questions.”

To make contact, simply send a personal message, via Facebook, to @alison coates

 

 

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Free HSCT in the UK, here’s the NHS criteria

Since my story on Sunday about James Coates, who has Secondary Progressive MS, having HSCT free of charge on the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), I have been inundated with enquiries.

Most have been concerned about whether they can qualify for treatment and, so, today I am going to set out the latest criteria that I can find but must point out that the requirements may have been modified since this was produced by the London MS-AHSCT Collaborative Group.

nhs-logoIt must be noted that to be considered for this treatment, a patient must be living in the UK with MS that must be ‘active’. The group has also stressed that this as an exceptional therapy for some people with MS, rather than a standard treatment; neither the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) nor NHS England have given the go-ahead for this therapy to be used routinely to treat any form of MS.

nice-logoThis is the Patient Eligibility Criteria Adopted by the London MS-AHSCT Collaborative Group.
The eligibility criteria are overall aimed at selecting patients who have failed approved treatments of high efficacy or have none available to them and have recently presented evidence of inflammatory CNS disease activity; and who could undergo AHSCT with an acceptable estimated level of risk of adverse events. Justification for each of criteria is supported by evidence from AHSCT trials and observational studies.

Referral criteria:

  • Diagnosis of MS made by a neurologist
  • Able to walk, needing at most bilateral assistance to walk 20m without resting
  • In relapsing MS (RMS), failed one licensed disease modifying drug of high efficacy (currently including alemtuzumab and natalizumab) because of demonstrated lack of efficacy
  • New MRI activity within last 12 months

Inclusion criteria: 

  • Age 18 to 65 years
  • Disease duration ≤15 years from diagnosis of MS
  • Diagnosis of MS according to McDonald’s criteria
  • For PPMS, CSF OCB+
  • For RMS, failed at least one licensed disease modifying drug of high efficacy (‘Category 2’ as defined by Scolding N, Barnes D, Cader S, et al. Pract Neurol 2015;15:273–279; currently including alemtuzumab and natalizumab) because of demonstrated lack of efficacy (as evident from relapse, MRI activity as defined below at Point 7, or EDSS increase) after being on DMT for at least 6 months
  • EDSS score 0-6.5
  • Inflammatory active MS as defined by ≥1 Gd+ (>3mm) lesion (off steroids for one month) or ≥2 new T2 lesions in MRI within last 12 months
  • Approved by the MDT

Exclusion criteria:

  • Eligible for an ethically approved clinical trial where AHSCT is offered as one of the treatment arms
  • Unable to adequately understand risk and benefits of AHSCT and give written informed consent
  • Prior treatment with total lymphoid irradiation and autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation London MS-AHSCT Collaborative Group – Patient Eligibility Criteria Final V.3. – 8/12/2015
  • Contraindication to MRI including but not limited to metal implants or fragments, history of claustrophobia or the inability of the subject to lie still on their back
  • Poorly controlled depression or recent suicidal attempt
  • Presence of any active or chronic infection
  • Unable to walk 20mt with or without support, or wheelchair dependent
  • Any significant organ dysfunction or co-morbidity that the Investigators consider would put the subject at unacceptable risk

And they are the criteria in their entirety to the best of my knowledge and belief.

 

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James Received HSCT Free, as He Lives in the UK

Virtually all the talk about availability of HSCT1 as an MS treatment includes the need to travel long distances to other countries, but UK residents can receive the treatment in London, avoiding the journey overseas. What’s more, it is provided through the country’s social National Health Service (NHS) so, like all NHS medical care, patients are given HSCT free of charge.2

Yes, you read that right, while treatment costs worldwide seem to vary between $50,000 and $120,000, not counting travel and other incidental expenses, UK residents can get the therapy free.

James Coates has just undergone non-myeloablative HSCT (the protocol that uses lower-dose chemotherapy drugs) at King’s College Hospital, in London. In fact, today (Wednesday) he reaches 44 days since he received his stem cell transplant.

I was fortunate to be able to contact James, who lives in England’s north-west, to ask about his experiences and how he is getting along.

HSCT free

James Coates.

IF:           We hear different doctors disagreeing about HSCT. Some say it only works with Relapsing MS, others disagree. What type of MS to you have?

JC:          Secondary Progressive with an EDSS score of 6.0 to 6.5.

IF:           How long did it take from applying to receiving treatment?

JC:          After a disappointing start, it was quite quick. All applications have to be considered by a panel which, first of all, in December, turned me down as not meeting the criteria. But I appealed with the support of my neurologist and new MRI evidence. At the next panel meeting at the end of January, my application was accepted. Then, just 15 weeks later, I was in King’s where my treatment was led by consultant hematologist Dr. Majid Kazmi.

IF:           I realize that it’s early days yet, but how are you getting along so far?

JC:          As you say, it’s early yet. But my brain fog has improved and I can think more clearly and understand things more quickly. My constipation is not so bad and, before, when I would lie on the bed I could not move my right leg, as though it was dead; now I can lift it right up.

Delighted to have been given HSCT free

IF:           I know that the first three months are in ‘recovery’ mode and you cannot do any serious exercising yet, but are you happy with having been given HSCT free and your progress since?

JC:          Happy? More than happy, I’d say delighted with both. And the progress is not just me. I had my first follow-up last week and Dr. Kazmi was really pleased that I am, in his words, “ahead of the curve” and doing better than he thought I would. He was surprised and pleased that I have also started to drive again, something I had not done for months. My EDSS score is about the same but it’s too early to expect anything else yet.

IF:           What are your hopes and expectations about the final outcome of this treatment?

JC:          I am realistic about this. Stopping the MS getting worse, halting its progression is my primary goal. Anything better than that would be a great bonus. Of course, I am hopeful of that but stopping it is my main goal.

IF:           What’s next for you?

JC:          Dr. Kazmi, who is so caring, wants to see me again in another month. Then, once three months has passed, I can start some serious exercising.

IF:           Finally, James, what do you think of how you were treated by the team at King’s?

JC:          It was absolutely phenomenal. Not just Dr. Kazmi but the whole team. I cannot speak highly enough about them all.

 

1 Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant.

2 Access to NHS services is based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay. NHS services are free of charge, with certain exceptions approved by Parliament.

This article was written by me and first appeared on Multiple Sclerosis News Today.

 

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ian profileIan Franks is Chief Columnist and Patient Specialist at Multiple Sclerosis News Today. He has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media; during which he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain and uses his skills to write his own flourishing specialist MS, Health & Disability blog at www.50shadesofsun.com. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

 

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