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European patient shows signs of PML

bottle of medication
24 October 2014

The pharmaceutical sponsor of Tecfidera, Biogen Idec, has this week notified neurologists of one case of Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in an individual currently being treated with Tecfidera in Europe.

Thousands of people with MS around the world are currently treated with Tecfidera, and this is the first reported case of PML in someone receiving this treatment. It is not yet clear the treatment history of this individual and the extent to which Tecfidera has contributed.

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a rare and potentially fatal viral brain infection characterised by progressive damage to the white matter of the brain. It is caused by the JC virus (JCV), which is present in about half of the general population, but only manifests in people whose immune system has been suppressed.

This event should not be a cause for alarm in people currently taking this medication, and individuals should not make any changes to their current medication regimen without first seeking medical advice. If you have any concerns about your current treatment plan, please speak to your neurologist.