Scottish Medicines Consortium approve new MS pill for NHS

Published date: 10 Sep 2012 at 12:25PM

Gilenya, the new MS pill, has today been approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) for the treatment of adults with highly-active relapsing remitting MS.

The approval of Gilenya means that those people who have experienced a relapse whilst on first line treatment but who do not qualify for Tysabri will now have an alternative treatment option.

Patricia Gordon, Director for the MS Society in Scotland said:

“We welcome the decision which will increase the treatment options for people with highly active MS. For the last 10 years people with MS have needed to inject to receive their medicines – a pill represents a significant step forward and will greatly improve quality of life”.

In welcoming this decision today by the SMC, the MS Society expects that the Health Boards will make available this new treatment.

Gilenya is the first oral treatment for MS and was licensed in March 2011. 38,000 patients around the world are already being treated with the drug.

The decision today is a u-turn by the SMC, whose previous guidance up until now refused to approve the use of Gilenya by health boards, on the grounds of cost effectiveness.

For press enquiries, please contact Becky Duff, Interim Head of Policy & Communications (Scotland) on 0131 335 4050 or email