11 thoughts on “Cry, the Beloved Country”

  1. You mention to contact you if you have resources that can help. What is the best way to reach you or your staff regarding that?

  2. “Since 2014 teriflunomide, oral cladribine and ocrelizumab have been licensed and all of these have low-cost equivalents, i.e. leflunomide, parenteral cladribine and biosimilar rituximab.”
    Strictly speaking, ocrelizumab and rituximab are not biosimilars. Although they target the same molecule, CD20, they have different epitopes and different biological effects. Also, rituximab is a chimeric antibody whereas ocrelizumab is fully humanized. As such, they needed to go through separate regulatory processes for approval.

    1. Re ‘Strictly speaking, ocrelizumab and rituximab are not biosimilars’
      I think the post refers to (biosimilar) rituximab (rather than Rituxan brand) being used in place of ocrelizumab anti CD20.

      1. That is correct; I am referring to the new rituximab biosimilars that make using rituximab cheaper. Unfortunately, this is still out of reach of most people in resource-poor countries.

  3. Why do you think off-label prescribing is important in resource poor environments only for MS?
    All systems in all countries are going bankrupt for the outrageous costs of these “new” MS drugs. 20+ billion dollar profits is more than covering their cost for R&D.
    I think it should be available everywhere in the world. It should be up to Pharma to prove their “new” drug, which is usually a recycled old existing drug from oncology, rheumatology, dermatology or GI, is superior to the off-label drug rather than CRAB drugs.
    If this comparison is done then we will finally see some progress in MS research and not the doldrums we currently live in.

    1. Yes and no! We have posted on the issue of high-cost drugs in the past and the role they play in helping fuel innovation. Pharma has to be profitable; if you want innovation to continue they need to money to invest. But how profitable and how they use and allocate their profits is another topic.

  4. Reading this makes me sad- something I was unprepared for as the blog contents usually are usually uplifting and inspiring, whatever they are (other than occasional grips under the anonymous routine). It is a blog not a pubkisehd research paper based on peer reviewed ideas in the mainstream of thought. Blogs should be based on the opinions of the author(s) and may not always be right, but they are in the open for others to comment on and add to with the end product being better than thr starting point. We have been extremely luck with this blog to have leading researchers in the field contribute a wonderful variety of articles of many different styles and foci. Having posts as personal views is important – without 20/20 hindsight it’s impossible to know what developments will make impact in the future, and the blog is utterly amazing at discussing this and raising awareness, as well as linking in with campaigns (eg. think hand) to make life for pwMS better.
    I didn;t like the previous style – I adored it. This is what made the stBarts Blog stand out from the plethora of other sites on MS that are out there, and I’ll miss it. I’ll check out the posts over the next few weeks and hold out my optimism for return of what I, and I assume many others, like.

  5. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
    I am now following Prof G on Medium, but this is so disappointing & a huge mistake. JSV

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