Every year people with Multiple Sclerosis are told about up-and-coming new drugs and treatments that will be available in the new year, offering renewed hope and ways to control the disease.
However, 2013 seems like a bit of a more definitive period of positive research with some very specific timetables for when these new medications will be available.
The Food and Drug Administration is supposed to make a decision by March about the oral pill BG-12 by Biogen Idec. This is supposed to compete with the oral medication Novartis (Gilenya) which has been available for two years now and has surpassed $1 billion in sales.
Another oral med, Aubagio, made by Sanofi, has not been met with the same results. Trials still show it not much better than Rebif.
The leading companies working on MS treatments also include Teva Pharmaceuticals and Merck Kga with their injectable medications that help slow down the MS incidents. Elan and Biogen still develop Tysabri.
The big hope is for BG-12 by Biogen, and there's also Laquinimod from Teva, but both of these oral drugs are still not approved. The oral medications are seen as far more palatable than daily or weekly injections, or infusions once a month like Tysabri.
One pharmacy watcher expert predicts that the older medications and injectables are on their way out, but it will be a slow process as the patients on the meds switch to the pill forms.