• FDA approves first drug for most severe form of multiple sclerosis

    By: Jason Stoogenke


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Genentech's Ocrevus, an intravenous infusion to be given every six months, for the treatment of a form of multiple sclerosis.

    There were 14 drugs on the market for the less severe form of multiple sclerosis, called relapsing-remitting MS, but none for the worst, called primary progressive MS. Ocrevus can be used for both.

    The drug may have helped Craig Lynch's brother, Wayne Lynch, who was diagnosed with primary progressive MS at 27 years old.
    He passed away from complications from the disease just shy of his 50th birthday.

    When Craig Lynch first heard Ocrevus was approved, he thought, "Oh, it's incredible."
    He called it a "game changer."

    He's on the National MS Society's board of directors and said every time he came back from an MS event, his mother would ask him if there's any treatment for the kind of MS that took his brother's life.

    "I'd always have to say, 'Mom, no, but they're working hard on it,'" Craig Lynch said.

    A man diagnosed with MS in 1989 who asked not to use his name said the disease can be terrifying.
    Fortunately, he has a more mild form of MS.

    He likes knowing there's now the drug if he ever needs it.

    "Good to know the research is being done, and there's progress," the man said.

    The drug is expected to cost $65,000 per year, which is reportedly about 20 percent less than other medications being used now.

    The National MS Society still wants to make sure insurance companies cover the drug so patients have access to it.

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