Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Death Involving Patient Taking Gilenya Makes News
Novartis AG has reported that a multiple sclerosis patient died in November after starting treatment with Gilenya, the first pill approved to treat the debilitating neurological disease.
Multiple sclerosis (abbreviated MS, known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata) is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms.
MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other effectively. In MS, the body's own immune system attacks and damages the myelin.
Whether Gilenya had any effect in this death can’t be excluded or confirmed, Eric Althoff, a spokesman for the Basel, Switzerland-based drugmaker wrote. The death is the first reported within 24 hours of the first Gilenya dose in more than 28,000 patients who have taken the drug, Althoff said.
Gilenya was approved in the U.S. last year and cleared for sale in Europe in March. It is among the products Novartis is depending on to boost sales as patents start to expire on the company’s best-selling drugs, including the hypertension pill Diovan.
Read more at the source of this post. MS is a devastating disease that affects the loved ones of the person diagnosed with the condition, and it has a profound impact on many lives. Let's hope this is an abnormal and rare result, because the promise of any drug for MS sufferers gives them some hope.