Oral therapy Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) seems to be emerging as a first-line treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis – according to Biogen, the company that developed it. That’s good news, and something we need to know.
The company agrees that for some time, the long-term effectiveness and safety of this oral therapy has remained unclear; even exactly how it works has also been largely unknown, as was reported on Multiple Sclerosis News Today. But the company also says that reports released during the last few months offer “encouraging” new findings into the drug’s long-term efficacy and safety; and others are beginning to uncover its workings.
Tecfidera was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013 for the treatment of MS. But, it was not possible then to determine either the effectiveness or the safety in the longer term.
Now, three years later, Biogen is hailing the new research offering “encouraging” findings on both the long-term results of the drug and how it works. Well, that must be promising.
Need to know how drugs work
Ok, I am not a scientist but, as a mere patient, I do see how it is possible for a therapy to be approved for use with only short-term efficacy and safety being known, but I am still concerned that no one had a clear understanding of how it works before it was put out there. Surely, all patients have a right to expect that the scientists and medical professionals know what any drug is going to do inside our bodies.
Biogen announced positive results regarding the long-term effectiveness of Tecfidera during a presentation in April at the 68th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, in Vancouver. The company said that newly diagnosed relapsing MS patients receiving the treatment maintained consistently reduced relapse rates, and that over 50 percent of them exhibited no relapses in six years of treatment. The drug’s long-term safety profile was also supported, the company said..
Now, there is no way that I am going to get involved in the science and technical stuff, which is beyond me. As an MS patient, I just want to know that any new drug is effective and safe to use – and that doctors can explain how it works.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.