The UAE has become the latest country to approve Gilenya, an oral medication designed to treat multiple sclerosis, the Dubai Health Authority has announced.

The drug, manufactured by Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis, is now available as a first-line treatment for patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, which affects two-thirds of those diagnosed with the disease.

The medication received full licensing by regulators in the US and Russia last year in response to research that shows the drug is more effective in delaying disease progression than other prescribed therapies.

Up until recently, multiple sclerosis patients have had to inject their medications, which can leave red marks on the skin and cause flu-like symptoms for up to 24 hours.

“Treatment adherence tends to be a major problem in multiple sclerosis. Many patients are reluctant to continue injections long-term,” said Dr Al Sayed, Dubai Health Authority’s director of pharmaceutical services.

“The treatments have to be given by frequent injections or intravenous infusions, and the benefits have to be weighed up against a number of side effects. Therefore optimising adherence and sustaining injection therapies has been most challenging.”

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the nervous system that affects the brain and spinal cord. It damages the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects the nerve cells, which slows down or blocks messages between the brain and the body.

Gilenya is a sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator, which reduces the frequency of clinical exacerbations and delays the accumulation of physical disability.

Global figures show that multiple sclerosis affects around 25-50 people per 100,000 in Arabic populations and about 100 per 100,000 people in Northern European ones.