Sudden death after first dose of multiple sclerosis drug

30 March 2012

Last month french magazine PRESCRIRE criticized the European Medecines Agency (EMA) for a lack of informations regarding the case of several sudden death. All the patients were using the same new multiple sclerosis drug in the USA.
The magazine thinks that the agency is may be more keen on protecting the financial interest of drugs companies then protecting the patients.
The EMA stated that « the review of the drug should be finalised by March 2012 »
Until then they ask the doctors using the new drug for their patients (Fingolimod) extra monitoring .
For informations, this new drug is the first in a new class of disease-modifying treatments called sphingosine 1‑phosphate receptor (S1P‑R) modulators. More than 30 000 patients have received the immunosupressant worldwide.
As every drugs, it was tested on animals before being offered on the market.
In 2011, Dr Susanna Penco, an italian researcher with multiple sclerosis, stated both in ATRA/orizonti magazine and in Sciences, Enjeux, Santé (The PRO ANIMA bulletin) that she was strongly against animal expérimentation.
In the case of multiple sclerosis she said that a big part of the funds were used to cure mice that were artifically manipulated in order to have them deseased with multiple sclerosis.
She deplored that most of those research on animals were useless for our own species : the human species.

(BMJ 2012;344:el360)