MS drug linked to two new cases of brain disease

August 4, 2008

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society issued a position statement about the latest development.

First it was approved. Next it was withdrawn. Then it was restored to the market. Now Tysabri (natalizumab, Biogen Idec and Elan Pharmaceuticals) for multiple sclerosis has been associated with two new reports of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a brain disease. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society issued a position statement about the latest development. It said, "We are encouraged that the risk management plans in place for early surveillance, such as the TOUCH program in the U.S., are doing the intended job of identifying possible cases of PML early so that patients can be treated quickly." The organization added that the incidents highlight the need for patients to contact their health professional immediately if they experience any new and unusual symptoms.

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