Biogen Idec Inc. has reported five more cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare brain infection, in multiple sclerosis patients (MS) who were receiving Tysabri.
The total number of MS patients afflicted while receiving Tysabri is at 63 with a total number of 25 cases here in the U.S., 34 from the European Union and four in other areas with 12 non-disclosed distribution deaths.
Tysabri is considered a highly affective therapy for multiple sclerosis patients with four MS sufferers here in Lima who will tell everyone “it has done more for me than anything else on the market” and, overall, the global rate is around 0.80 per 1,000 patients making PML a non-complication when it comes to infusion risks.
However, because of the re-emergence of PML with transfusions of Tysabri in 2008, Biogens worry over sales is a big issue since PML was what led to Tysabri being pulled from the market in 2005 in the first place.
It is reported this year that 52,700 MS patients all across the globe were receiving the drug making it a total of some 70,000 patients who have undergone the therapy which does imply a small concern, but its growth has been slow due to these concerns and it is hard to ask an individual to trust that their possible PML would be caught soon enough to over come death.
Once an MS sufferer doesn’t respond to certain therapy such as Rebif or Copaxone or, if the patient has an aggressive form of the disease, most neurologists will suggest either chemotherapy or Tysabri and neither of these are without certain complications and even chemotherapy has possible death alerts.
Making the choice between these two is a huge decision that certainly cannot be more of personal decision anyone would have to make but if the rates of PML with Tysabri keep rising and, if more deaths do happen, Biogen will keep seeing their sales dropping and we will start to see worry that this drug could be pulled from the market yet again.
Leaving those with progressive forms of MS, and those who do not respond to regular therapies, with perhaps only chemotherapy to lean on?
For more info: for those who live in Lima, Ohio, the Northwestern Ohio MS Chapter can be reached at: 401 Tomahawk Drive , Maumee, OH at (419) 897-7263. They are located approximately an hour and a half from Lima, Ohio and 45 minutes from Findlay, Ohio. For directions please click here at Google Maps.
Sources: FoxBusiness.com Fox News
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