A Health Department spokeswoman said: "The Department of Health can confirm that it is in discussions with four manufacturers of beta interferon
and related products, as well as with stakeholders.
NICE advised in a preliminary judgement in August against the use of beta interferon
for new patients on cost grounds, claiming that the benefits were not worth the cost of between pounds 7,000 and pounds 10,000 a year.
My understanding is that beta interferon
is the only drug to possibly slow down the progression of MS.
Additionally, when compared to the beta interferon
therapies, COPAXONE(R) patients experienced significant reduction in annual relapse rate at each study time point.
Multiple sclerosis sufferer Jason Lee Powell, 33, from Whitland, was refused beta interferon
because of the cost implications.
There are a number of people in Coventry who are taking beta interferon
and there is no doubt it has improved their quality of life.
The institute is refusing to comment on the content of the proposals, but they are understood to include limiting treatment with beta interferon
to those NHS patients already taking the drug.
But the decision will now be delayed because health chiefs in England - who had previously labelled beta interferon
too expensive - are on the verge of a U-turn over its use.
She has suffered from multiple sclerosis since 1997, but has been on beta interferon
for the last six months, which has revolutionised her quality of life.
THE drug Beta Interferon
should no longer be given to NHS patients with multiple sclerosis, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence has provisionally recommended.
The mother-of-two, who uses a stick to help her to walk, had to walk 100 yards without aid to qualify for the drug beta interferon
, but was then told by the health authority she would be placed on a waiting list.
There is already "post-code prescribing", the denial of expensive drugs like Beta Interferon
to MS sufferers and patients who are written off as DNR (Do Not Resuscitate).