Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has welcomed news the Ocrelizumab has been approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium for use in NHS Scotland.
Ocrelizumab is used to reduce and slow the symptoms of adults with early primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). It is the first disease modifying treatment for PPMS to be made available on the NHS in Scotland.
Ms Wishart has welcomed the decision as an important step which offers hope for individuals affected by PPMS and their families.
MS is a life-long condition in which the immune system attacks the brain or spinal cord causing symptoms such as fatigue, weakness and visual and memory problems. Shetland has a higher rate of people living with multiple sclerosis than in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Ms Wishart said:
“The prevalence of MS in Shetland means it has a big impact on our community. This decision to allow Ocrelizumab to be used in the treatment of early primary progressive MS is therefore excellent news.
“While this new treatment won’t be appropriate for everyone, it does show that research into MS is paying off and offers hope that new drugs will be available in the future for other forms of the condition.
“Scotland is home to world class research that is looking into more ways that people can manage the symptoms of MS, with a view to eventually finding a cure. Meantime, organisations like MS Society Shetland offer invaluable support to those living MS in Shetland and their families. I would encourage anyone affected by MS to contact them and find out how they can benefit from their services.”