Breaking news: How will the increased availability of Cladribine tablets effect MSers?

Breaking news: How will the increased availability of Cladribine tablets effect MSers?


What do you think, at the moment, do you have
any idea of how many people with MS are on cladribine at the moment and what can you
see that changing to after this new announcement? Well, it’s just been launched and it only
got green-lighted by NICE late last year, and so…
and then it’s got to go on to a thing called ‘blue tick’ which is the database, and
that took ages to get on blue tick. So there’s been
a lot of- this is one of the reasons why these programmes need to be in place. You know,
the European Medicines Agency can say yes, you can license it, then there’s a whole
lot of little hurdles that get put in place by the NHS
machinery that delay access. So at the moment it’s just beginning to take off and I suspect
that with this announcement and whatever they put in place to promote the adoption of this
across the country, it’s going to take off. So I think it’s going to be a very successful
therapy, because it is a high efficacy drug. And it’s
potentially going to affect the landscape in terms
of how we use these highly effective therapies. So I don’t know what the NHS is going to
put behind this, you know, I’ve got some ideas
for them if they want my ideas, but we’ve now got
to hold them to their word. You know, they actually put resource behind this, I see on
their website they’ve actually got an allocated
pot of money to make sure that these innovations are adopted. So, you know, is that an education
programme, is it training people in these centres to use the drug? I don’t know what
it is. We’ll see. Is this the two million you’re referring
to? Yes, the two million pounds. So it’s not
very much when you think about the seven products on that list and how do you, if you split
up that two million across seven products and then
you’ve got a small pot of money. And the good thing about the MS community though,
it’s quite small. So, you know, if it is about
education and promoting adoption, we could probably do it via the roadshows, educational
meetings, etc. What do you like about cladribine as a drug?
Its mode of action. It’s a very clever drug. It’s just a quirk of nature that people
have a particular enzyme that can be targeted in
the lymphocytes and allow us to deplete the lymphocytes selectively and leave the other
parts of the immune system intact. So although it’s a highly effective therapy it doesn’t
really cause massive immune suppression, so we 2 haven’t seen opportunistic infections. The
fact that it’s a tablet is very useful. And it’s just
taken as five days in month one, five days in month two, repeat that in year two, and
a large proportion of patients go into long-term remission.
Now, we don’t know how long that will last and some people may require additional
courses. But its ease of use and its mode of
action make it very appealing. And it separates it out from almost all the other therapies,
disease modifying therapies. Do you think this will lead to people with
MS taking it at home or do you think they’ll still be
coming in to, say, GP offices? No, no, no, they’ll take it at home. And
then there’s another incentive, that is when you
prescribe an outpatient drug to be taken at home, you don’t pay VAT on it. So as soon
as you prescribe a drug that has to be taken
within a healthcare environment, like within a
hospital, we have to pay VAT. And so the government’s put that VAT as a disincentive for
treating in hospital, and so we can’t really make patients come in because it will cost
20% more, so they will take it at home. And there’s
a very, very good programme in place, that the company’s put in place, to help patients
by phoning and sending them text reminders to
make sure they don’t forget to take their tablet. It’s very easy to use, a blister
pack, very important instructions on what to do, they’ve
just got to take it for five days, they then get a
reminder. And there’s only two blood tests that have to be done during the year, which
can be done, you know, via their normal service
that we have at the hospital. And then we have
to do a blood test and some infection screens before the next cycle, which is in year two.
That’s pretty routine now, we do almost, we do those blood tests now to make sure people
don’t have viral infections or TB, whatever, for most of our drugs now anyway, so it’s
not different to any of our other therapies.

One Reply to “Breaking news: How will the increased availability of Cladribine tablets effect MSers?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *