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Novartis' Extavia approved by UK NICE for MS treatment; Teva's Copaxone rejected

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Novartis' Extavia approved by UK NICE for MS treatment; Teva's Copaxone rejected

The U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended Novartis AG's Extavia for treating multiple sclerosis, or MS, under certain conditions.

The regulator said in draft guidelines that it does not recommend certain other beta interferon MS treatments because of cost concerns, namely Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s Copaxone, Biogen Inc.'s Avonex and Plegridy, Bayer AG's Betaferon and Merck Serono S.A.'s Rebif. The guidance said Extavia is more cost-effective than the other treatments.

NICE recommended Extavia for use under the National Health Service for patients who have relapsing–remitting MS or patients who have secondary progressive MS with continued relapses. The drug is recommended only if Novartis provides the discount agreed upon in the patient access scheme.

The closing date for comments on the guidance is Jan. 24, 2018.

MS is a potentially disabling disease that affects the brain and the spinal cord. Extavia is also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.