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New multiple sclerosis treatment introduced in India

Newly introduced in India, Ocrevus, a groundbreaking medication for treating multiple sclerosis, a chronic condition affecting the central nervous system, has garnered widespread attention. With its availability in more than 100 nations, Ocrevus stands out as the first and sole approved high-efficacy therapy, having treated over 300,000 patients globally. Administered bi-annually through a two-hour infusion regimen, the drug is designed to promote adherence, although its annual cost in India ranges between Rs 10-12 lakh, contingent upon dosage. Multiple sclerosis predominantly afflicts women aged 20-40 years and is estimated to impact 1.5-2 lakh individuals in India.

Produced by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Pharma, Ocrevus was initially introduced in the US market in 2017. Asit Sabat, the India enabling leader at Roche Pharma India, highlighted the economic ramifications of neurological disorders, surpassing the combined burden of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Sabat emphasized the anticipated escalation of this burden in India due to demographic shifts, underscoring the urgent need for attention to address the rising prevalence of neurological conditions and their substantial economic implications.

Dr. Viraj Suvarna, the chief medical officer at Roche Pharma India, noted the unpredictable nature of multiple sclerosis, as it manifests differently among individuals. While some may experience mild symptoms, others may face severe impairments affecting vision, motor skills, and mobility. Suvarna’s remarks underscore the critical importance of interventions like Ocrevus in managing the diverse and often debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis.


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