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Two New Drugs To Fight MS May Keep Patients Upright

December 9, 2015

Patients suffering from MS are happy to welcome two new drugs into the fold that will reduce the chances of being relegated to a wheelchair. Pharmac announced it would fund dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera) and teriflunomide (Aubagio) from first diagnosis for some patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) from February 1, 2016.

Pharmac's decision to fund two more first-line treatments to fight the central nervous system disease could help to prevent some sufferers from ending up in wheelchairs. A year ago, it approved funding for two other new treatments, natalizumab (Tysabri) and fingolimod (Gilenya), for people with relapsing-remitting MS who met the same criteria.

MSNZ spokesman Neil Woodhams said 471 people with multiple sclerosis had started using the first two new treatments during the past year, which were proving "life-changing" for many because they halted the disease's progression.

"There's a real chance with these drugs that they will never go into a wheelchair."

As many know, depression is a common side effect of MS, as many patients feel as if they are just waiting to end up in a wheelchair. Now these same patients may feel encouraged as there are many new options available for them, to go along with some great results from these treatments.