OCREVUS (ocrelizumab) is now publicly available in Ireland

Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) is the first and only licensed treatment for people with early, inflammatory primary progressive multiple sclerosis in Ireland.

Dublin, 1st of October 2020 – Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd. (“Roche”), today, announced that OCREVUS® (ocrelizumab) is now publicly available in Ireland to treat people living with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). More than 9,000 people in Ireland are living with MS(1) and it is estimated that PPMS, a highly disabling form of MS, and according to MS Ireland, affects approximately 15% of people diagnosed with MS(1).

Multiple Sclerosis (MS), meaning ‘many scars’, is the most common disabling neurological disease affecting young adults in Ireland1 . The common symptoms of PPMS include weakness in both legs that can cause problems with mobility, loss of bladder function and physical and mental tiredness. 2 According to mstrust.org.uk, PPMS is generally diagnosed in people aged 40 – 50 years old.3 It is called primary progressive because, unlike other forms of MS, symptoms gradually worsen from the outset and progress towards more disability.3


Chief Executive of MS Ireland, Ava Battles stated: “Access to treatment is a huge issue for people living with MS in Ireland, but in particular for those with PPMS who, up until now, have had no options regarding formal medical treatment. This announcement is a giant step forward in terms of providing people with PPMS with a treatment that could have an impact on their lives, that of their families and the healthcare professionals treating this disabling condition.”


Dr. Peter Kinirons, Consultant Neurologist, Bon Secours Hospital stated: “PPMS is a debilitating disease that worsens throughout the person’s lifetime and until now, there has been a significant unmet treatment need. As a healthcare professional it is particularly frustrating to have limited treatment options for patients with this debilitating disease. I welcome the availability of OCREVUS in Ireland as this will now provide neurologists with the first treatment option specific for these patients.”


Simone Feresin, Strategy Lead (Neurology), Roche Ireland, concluded, “The availability of OCREVUS represents an important milestone for the treatment of Irish patients with primary progressive MS. To date, those living with primary progressive MS have been underserved with regards to treatment options. Roche remains committed to supporting patients and we hope that the availability of a new treatment for primary progressive MS will offer new hope to these patients with a previously unmet need.


ENDS References

1. Multiple Sclerosis: The Facts. Available at: https://www.ms-society.ie/news/multiple-sclerosis-facts. Accessed: 21 September 2020

2. Common MS Symptoms. Available at: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/primary-progressive-ms#whatare-the-sympt… Date Accessed: 21 September 2020

3. Who gets primary progressive MS? Available at: Available at: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/az/primary-progressive-ms#what-is-primary-pr… Date Accessed: 21 September 2020