A WOMAN from Oxfordshire is backing a campaign to get the Government to fund a drug she believes has stopped the progression of her incurable disease.

Low Dose Naltrexone or LDN has been used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, a disease of the immune system, for more than 25 years.

But despite being cheap and highly effective, it is not routinely prescribed by GPs.

The drug, which is also reported to help with the effects of cancer, Aids and rheumatoid arthritis, works by creating a surge in endorphins to restore patients’ immune systems.

It costs between 50p to £1 per day and is already licensed to treat alcohol or drug addicts.

Doctors can prescribe LDN for other conditions, but many are reluctant to do so because it has not been officially trialled and licensed for those uses, meaning they do not have proof of its effectiveness.

Silvia Lane, 51, from Woodcote, was diagnosed with MS last year, and, after carrying out some research on the Internet, discovered LDN.

Since she began taking it she said her life has been turned around.

She said: “I found this drug before my disability became unbearable, before I was in a wheelchair, before I was a burden to my family and needed round- the-clock care, all things many people with autoimmune diseases need.

“Finding this drug was amazing and it opened up a world I never knew existed.

“Before, I had trouble with bladder control, fatigue and cramps in my legs. But within six weeks of taking LDN these problems had disappeared.”

Clincal trials, which can be long and expensive, are usually funded by large drug companies. They are then given rights to make the drug.

But Ms Lane, who has to buy her prescription from Scotland, from one of the few private doctors to routinely give out the drug, believes no pharmaceutical company will bear the expense of the large clinical trials, which could cost about £200m, because they would not make enough money from the sales.

She is one of more than 10,000 people calling for the Government, via an online petition, to step in and pay for a trial instead.

She said: “I won’t know for definite whether LDN has completely stopped the progression of my disease until I’m much older, but I believe it has.

“It has certainly stopped the progression of any symptoms.

“But there’s 25 years of patients’ evidence to prove that this drug works, and until there is a cure, it’s the best thing available.

“But people don’t know about it. They aren’t told about it, unless they find out for themselves on the Internet.

“We’re calling on the Government to save the NHS vast sums of money and make thousands of people’s lives better by doing the right thing, and properly trialling LDN.”

awiliams@oxfordmail.co.uk To sign the petition visit the campaign website at petitions.number10.gov.uk/LowDNaltrexone