January 26, 9:43 PMMultiple Sclerosis ExaminerMike Szymanski
A drug watchdog group in Europe has offered a thumbs-up for the Multiple Sclerosis drug Tysabri, as Europeans consider restricting the medication.
A short-term review of the drug by the European Medicines Agency noted that the benefits of the medication, usually given by infusion, is far better than the risk of the brain disease,progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The rare brain infection has been noted in patients taking the drug more than two years.
The European distributors of the medication are considering stronger warning labels for people taking Tysabri.
The latest reports note that 31 patients on Tysabri have contracted a rare brain disease, 23 of them were on the medication for more than two years, and that puts the risk rate at 1 in 1,000.
The committee report notes that after two years, the risk of Tysabri increases, but it is still minimal for people with active relapsing-remitting MS.