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Company restores access to multiple sclerosis drug after pressure from neurologists

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f703 (Published 01 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f703
  1. Jeremy Laurance
  1. 1London

A drug company has bowed to pressure and restored some access to a drug that it had previously withdrawn.

The company, Genzyme, a subsidiary of the multinational pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, caused outrage among neurologists last year after it withdrew off-label use of its drug alemtuzumab for patients with multiple sclerosis.1

After protests from doctors, reports in the BMJ, Lancet, and national media, and an editorial in the BMJ,2 the company has now agreed to restore a limited supply of the drug to enable patients with multiple sclerosis who had already started a course to complete their treatment.

In a letter to the NHS this week Isabelle Izzard, principal pharmacist at the Department of Health for England, said that Genzyme …

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