1.1 On the balance of their clinical and cost effectiveness neither beta interferon nor glatiramer acetate is recommended for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the NHS in England and Wales.
1.2 It is likely that patients currently receiving beta interferon or glatiramer acetate for MS, whether as routine therapy or part of a clinical trial, could suffer loss of well being if their treatment is discontinued at a time they did not anticipate. Because of this, all NHS patients who are on therapy at the date of publication of this guidance should have the option to continue treatment until they and their consultant consider it is appropriate to stop, having regard to the criteria established for withdrawal from treatment in the Guidelines of the Association of British Neurologists published in January 2001. This also applies to all participating patients at the conclusion of a clinical trial (irrespective as to whether they had received placebo or active drug) and women whose therapy has been interrupted by pregnancy.
1.3 The Department of Health and the National Assembly for Wales are invited to consider the strategy outlined in Section 7.1 with a view to acquiring any or all of the medicines appraised for this guidance in a manner that could be considered to be cost effective.