Prescrire’s subject matter mainly consists of critical reviews of medicines and other treatment options. Prescrire’s editorial staff is made up of healthcare professionals, most of whom are in active practice. Editors are specially trained and are free from any ties to pharmaceutical or other companies doing business in the healthcare arena. Prescrire’s reviews therefore help healthcare professionals to prescribe for their patients in an informed and fully independent manner.
Prescrire is also completely independent of all national and supernational institutions that determine or implement healthcare policy. Prescrire is therefore free to make recommendations in matters of ethics, public health and national and international healthcare policy.
Prescrire is written and edited by and for healthcare professionals. You could say that it’s just what the doctor ordered.
And Prescrire's March issue has some startling information on MS drugs. The reviewers names are not published (to keep them safe?) but they stand behind their recommendations. Each article submitted has been reviewed by 20-40 other peer-reviewers. And what they say is that when looking at all of the data we now have, these new drugs are too dangerous, with too many side effects and known and unknown risks. That people with MS are much better off using the first line meds (interferon and copaxone), because these new, more powerful drugs have had biased trials, and have not proven any long term benefit.
1. Tysabri and MS. With longer follow-up: even more toxic than suspected.
Post-marketing data confirm the adverse effects identified in clinical trials, including serious and life-threatening opportunistic infections, particularly progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in about two per thousand treated patients (an incidence twice as high as initially estimated), and potentially severe hypersensitivity reactions. An increased risk of cancer in the long term cannot be ruled out. Post-marketing data also show that natalizumab can cause severe liver damage. In addition, natalizumab withdrawal because of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy almost always triggers an immune reconsti- tution syndrome that can lead to neurological complications or even death. In practice, regardless of the severity of multiple sclerosis, it does not seem reasonable to expose patients to the many serious adverse effects of natalizumab for such an uncertain benefit.