MS Ireland welcomed the news this morning (Wednesday, 28th March 2018) that a spokesperson from the office of Simon Harris has agreed that the Minister will meet with representatives from the organisation “in the near future” to discuss a possible pilot scheme to make new medication ocrelizumab available to people with primary progressive MS as soon as possible.
MS Ireland wrote to the Minister in December, outlining concerns that this medication – the first ever to be indicated for primary progressive MS – would be delayed in the system. Ocrelizumab is currently being assessed by the National Centre for Pharmaco-economics (NCPE) to determine if a recommendation will be made that the HSE should reimburse it. MS Ireland requested that the Minister consider a pilot reimbursement system whereby ocrelizumab is made available to people with primary progressive MS while negotiations on price are ongoing, similar to the system that currently exists in Germany. Ocrelizumab has been available to people with MS in Germany since receiving a license from the European Medicines Agency in January.
MS Ireland does not have a date for a meeting with the Minister yet and will be in touch with his office to try and secure a date as soon as possible.