Relevant BNF section: 8.2.4
In early 1996, we reviewed ▼interferon beta-1b (Betaferon - Schering Healthcare Limited), the first interferon beta to be introduced for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The product was very expensive and the evidence for it offering real clinical advantage weak; we recommended that it should only be used as part of a clinical trial or detailed clinical audit.1 A second interferon beta, interferon beta-1a (Avonex - Biogen), has now been marketed in the UK "for the treatment of ambulatory patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis". The manufacturer claims that it "slows the progression of disability....over a 2-year period". Here, we review the evidence offered in support of this claim and assess the place of interferon beta-1a in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
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