click here). Ocrevus is the first drug to receive FDA approval for the treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis, thus representing a milestone in the history of MS treatments.
While this is exciting news for people with progressive MS, it's important that patients keep their expectations reasonable and in line with what was shown in the Ocrevus clinical trials. Ocrevus could very well prove to be the most effective relapsing MS drug available when it hits the market (which should be in about 2 weeks); it will be the only FDA approved MS drug for progressive MS when it hits the shelves. Based on the Ocrevus progressive MS trial results, some patients may expect to see a slowing of their disease progression by about 25%. There is some reason to believe that the drug will work best on patients with enhancing lesions on their MRIs. While this is not nearly the kind of momentous intervention all patients with progressive MS crave, it is a start, and one would expect to see an increase in research for this type of MS as other pharmaceutical companies race to get competing drugs on the market.
I've reposted a commentary on Ocrevus I wrote back in January, after interviewing one of the lead researchers on the drug, Dr. Peter Chin. I would encourage all readers with an interest in Ocrevus to read my commentary (click here) and the interview with Dr. Chin (click here). Both include important info for patients considering taking this drug.
As long-time readers of Wheelchair Kamikaze are undoubtedly aware, I've often been skeptical when it comes to MS drugs. However, I owe it to myself and my readers to go where the science takes me, and there is an ever increasing body of evidence that the newer generation of immunosuppressive MS drugs do positively impact the course of the disease, sometimes dramatically. Many of them do carry with them a list of serious and sometimes fatal potential side effects, and as always a frank discussion with your neurologist is mandatory when considering the risk/reward ratio before beginning any drug treatment. Let's hope that with time Ocrevus shows itself to be even more effective than was demonstrated in its clinical trials, and that its safety profile proves robust.
Wishing all WK readers and those who love them the realization of their fondest dreams…