A new pill could be the world’s first to help people who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS). The pill can help reduce suffering for those with highly active relapses.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published its first draft guidance provisionally recommending the use of Fingolimod (Gilenya) on the NHS for patients.
MS occurs when white blood cells start to attach the coating around the nerve cells which transmit messages from the brain to the rest of the body. When these cells are damaged sufferers experience various symptoms including numbness, blurred vision, poor mobility and muscle weakness. However, Fingolimod, helps to prevent white bloods cell attacking the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cords.
Nick Rijke, director of policy and research at the MS Society, said “we are delighted. This decision signifies a major step forward in the treatment of this devastating condition. Gilenya has been found to be highly effective in trails and taking a daily tablet will come as a welcome relief from frequent, often unpleasant, injections.”
The Life Dept adds: according to the Multiple Sclerosis Trust 2,500 people are diagnosed with MS every year in the UK. It more commonly effects women with a ratio of 3 females to every 1 male sufferer. There was a time when critical illness cover was referred to as ‘dread disease’ cover. This has died out now – it’s terribly ‘un-PC’ – but, let’s face it, conditions like MS fulfil this description. It is rare for someone to die of MS so life insurance isn’t really much of a help but MS land squarely in critical illness cover. Income protection cover is relevant too. Remember, income protection cover is long term sickness and accident insurance and claims can last years (LV= say a typical claim period is 8 years!). Given presently there is no cure for MS (the above news is encouraging but it is no cure) and an income protection claim can last as long as the cover e.g. 1 claim could last 20 years; someone diagnosed with MS that has income protection cover is going to be in a much better financial position when they lose their exployment.
Written exclusively for THE LIFE & critical illness DEPT | 21 Mar 2012 | providers of life insurance, critical illness insurance and income protection cover.