New drug for MS approved in Scotland

Published 22 February 2022

Vumerity (diroximel fumarate) has been approved for use on the NHS for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Vumerity is taken orally as a tablet twice a day. It is as effective as Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) but doesn’t cause as many stomach problems. The two drugs are similar in that they are both converted in the body to monomethyl fumarate which reduces inflammation and helps protect nerve cells from MS damage.

Vumerity reduced rates of relapse and the number of active lesions seen by MRI in clinical trials.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently reviewing an application for the treatment to be used in England and Wales, with the decision expected in May. Usually Northern Ireland health authorities follow NICE’s lead on drug appraisal.