Highlands first for MS treatment

Picture: Callum Bennets
Picture: Callum Bennets
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MULTIPLE sclerosis patients in the Highlands are the first in Scotland to be offered a new drug treatment, a health board has said.

Fingolimod, an oral treatment for a particular form of MS, was approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium in September.

It is designed to help patients with highly active relapsing remitting MS.

Louise Smith, 47, from Thurso, was the first patient to start using Fingolimod, NHS Highland said. She was diagnosed with the condition more than four years ago.

“To date, I have been treated with drug infusions as well as having to self-inject to prevent relapses,” Ms Smith said.

“MS can take over so much of your life but I have set up my own business which means I can work flexibly. I do try and lead as normal a life as possible and this will definitely help.

“Now I’m on the tablet I don’t have to carry needles, I don’t have to worry about where my medication can be stored and I don’t have to think about going into hospital.”

NHS Highland said the treatment is only suitable for a small percentage of people with MS.

Scotland has the highest rate of MS in the world with more than 10,000 people affected.