New drug gives multiple sclerosis patients a new option - KCTV5 News

New drug gives multiple sclerosis patients a new option

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The drug is still new and not yet commercially available, but Dr. Boutwell hopes to get her hands on it in the next couple of months. (KCTV5) The drug is still new and not yet commercially available, but Dr. Boutwell hopes to get her hands on it in the next couple of months. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A new drug is giving patients suffering from an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis new hope.

After living with multiple sclerosis for decades, Janet Franklin's condition is now considered to be primary progressive, which is one the most aggressive forms of the disease. 

"It’s affected my life to the point where I finally had to quit working and I’m using a scooter now primarily,” Franklin said.

Dr. Cristine Boutwell, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at St. Luke's Marion Bloch Neuroscience, says the disease is an auto-immune condition in which the body attacks itself.

But a breakthrough drug, called Ocrevus, has recently been approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

For the first time, a drug would offer patients with the primary progressive form of multiple sclerosis a new option.

While it’s not a cure for the disease, Boutwell says it's shown to slow down the progression of the disease, which could change the quality of life for her patients.

"It’s trying to slow down their disability progression and to reduce the problems in the neurologic disability that they have so that they can be productive citizens and lead productive lives and do everything that they want with their families and friends," Boutwell said.

For Franklin, that means looking forward to living out her life-long dream.

“I'm shooting to hopefully, if I ever become a grandmother, I would be able to carry a baby and not drop it," she said.

The drug is still new and not yet commercially available, but Boutwell hopes to get her hands on it in the next couple of months.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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