New treatment for Parkinson’s made available on the NHS in England

Foslevodopa-foscarbidopa (also called Produodopa) can be offered in England from 27 February for people with Parkinson’s who experience movement-related symptoms.

This story was originally published on 20 February 2024, it was updated on 12 March 2024 to reflect the Scottish Medicine Consortium's decision to approve foslevodopa.

The new treatment will be available on the NHS in England from 27 February 2024, with around 900 people with Parkinson’s expected to benefit.

It was approved last year by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Produodopa will treat people with the condition who experience movement-related symptoms.

While the therapy can be offered from 27 February in England, hospitals are currently putting the right training, resources and support in place. They are at different stages in setting their services up, so in some areas, the therapy might not be available for a short while.

Please speak to your consultant or Parkinson’s nurse to see if the therapy is right for you, as it’s not suitable for everyone.

Extra control in managing Parkinson's symptoms

A small pump delivers a continuous dose of medication 24 hours a day from a syringe. The device has a cannula (thin plastic tube) that is inserted under the skin, much like apomorphine, an existing treatment some people with Parkinson’s use.

People with Parkinson's often struggle with taking numerous daily tablets to manage fluctuating symptoms and challenging side effects.

This new therapy provides continuous symptom management, day and night, with the added benefit of enabling people to give themselves an additional dose for greater personal control over their condition.

This is the first new treatment for Parkinson’s that’s been made available on the NHS in years and can be life-changing for people with severe movement-related symptoms that are not well managed by other Parkinson's medications.

24 hour pumped medication for ease of use

Phil Hockey who has lived with Parkinson’s for 6 years said:

"When my oral medication stopped being as effective and my ‘off’ periods were a significant part of my day, I signed up for a clinical trial of the drug.

"I was surprised at how effective it was at controlling my symptoms. Having the pump working 24 hours a day is a key benefit and it gave me back a degree of control in the management of my symptoms when I was on the trial. It even meant a return to my favourite sport, cycling!

"I’m happy that people with Parkinson’s may also be able to receive the benefits from this new therapy and, I’m hoping this is the start of future developments that will help as many people with the condition as possible."

Laura Cockram, Head of Campaigns at Parkinson’s UK, said:

"Parkinson's UK welcomes the rollout of the NICE recommended foslevodopa-foscarbidopa (Produodopa) treatment on the NHS in England.

"Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and it affects everyone differently. Foslevodopa-foscarbidopa (Produodopa) could be a life-changing option for those whose symptoms are not well controlled by oral medication.

"There are very few advanced treatments for the condition, so we are delighted another one is available. The therapy means people will be able to better manage their symptoms, and could potentially have a big impact on families' lives.

"It won't be suitable for everybody though, and people with Parkinson's should speak to their consultant or Parkinson's nurse to see whether it's an option for them. We are keen to see how NHS bodies roll out this therapy to help people with the condition control their symptoms."

James Palmer, NHS England’s Medical Director for Specialised Services and a Consultant Neurosurgeon, said:

"This is great news for hundreds of patients who are living with an often difficult and debilitating condition.

"This important therapy will now offer a vital new option on the NHS for those who aren’t suitable for other treatments such as deep brain stimulation, and we hope it will help nearly a thousand patients to manage their symptoms more effectively and go about their day with a better quality of life."

Availability in other UK countries

Produodopa was approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium on 11 March 2024. Read more about it on our web story.

While the therapy has been approved for use in Wales and Northern Ireland, hospitals are currently setting up their services. We hope it’ll be available soon.