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Multiple sclerosis drug prompts rationing fears

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7011.969 (Published 14 October 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:969

A new and expensive treatment for multiple sclerosis has reawakened fears of drug rationing because of cost. The drug, interferon beta, should be prescribed only by consultant neurologists, say guidelines to be issued by the Department of Health.

Interferon beta has been hailed by American neurologists as the greatest break-through in treating multiple sclerosis for 20 years, but British doctors are more sceptical. The drug reduces relapses in the relapsing remitting form of the disease by up to a third.

Dr David Miller, of the Institute of Neurologists, said that it was probably best that only consultants should prescribe the drug, as a proper diagnosis is essential. “There can …

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