UPDATE: Fampyra

Fampyra to be reimbursed for people with MS on a responder basis

Multiple Sclerosis Ireland welcomes the news that that the HSE will reimburse Fampyra or Fampridine in cases where people with MS ‘satisfy a responder protocol’ and have been prescribed the drug by a healthcare professional. Fampyra, an oral drug used for the symptomatic treatment of walking impairment in adults with MS will be available under the HSE General Medical Services (GMS) Scheme from today, October 1st 2015.   

Since July 1st 2014, Fampyra has only been available to people with MS at a personal cost of between €200 and €500 per month, a cost which is prohibitive to most of those who had been receiving the drug for free on a ‘named patient’ basis up until that point. For those who had been receiving Fampyra for free up until July 2014, they found that the drug had a significant impact on their ability to remain independent, as it has been shown to have clear benefits in improving the mobility of those with MS. Forced to live without the drug, for even a short period of time, patients who had been taking Fampyra found their ability to complete even the simplest of tasks severely restricted.

On September 2nd 2015, the HSE confirmed that it was ‘in the final stages of putting in place the governance arrangements and processes around a responder based reimbursement programme for Fampridine.’

Ava Battles, Chief Executive, MS Ireland welcomed the news today that the HSE will reimburse Fampyra on a responder basis, “We are delighted that Fampyra will now be accessible for people with MS who have been prescribed this drug by their neurologist. MS Ireland has been working with people with MS, calling for access to this approved treatment on behalf of our members as it has shown increased mobility and allowed a quality of life that has previously been denied them due to the debilitating nature of this condition.” 

MS Ireland would like to thank all those who have campaigned tirelessly for reimbursement for Fampyra since July 2014. In the recently launched guide to accessing MS medicines in Ireland, the ‘Access to Medicines’ Campaign Handbook, two of the case studies included focus on individuals struggling to self-fund Fampyra. MS Ireland is delighted with this positive outcome for those individuals and for all those who will now be able to continue or resume their treatment. 

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