Neurologists are playing a high risk strategy by introducing the drug interferon beta-1b into their general treatment of multiple sclerosis on the basis of just one small trial, a leading physician has warned.
Richard Richards, from the Department of Public Health and Clinical Practice in Mansfield, says the drug can only at best delay disability, but not prevent it.
He says that a small group of enthusiastic neurologists and an active patient lobby has dictated the granting of a product licence to the drug in Britain. "I have met very few consultants and no general practitioners who support its introduction outside of continuing trials," he writes in the BMJ (BMJ, 1996; 313: 1159).
For more information on multiple sclerosis, see WDDTY vol 1, no 3.