EPILEPSY suffers who feared a successful drug could be scrapped have been told it will be saved.
Patients relying on the drug Mysoline to control their epilepsy were told in June, 2003, that it would be withdrawn by the end of that year.
The announcement of such a short withdrawal period by AstraZeneca, the company which makes the drug, shocked health professionals and action groups.
But after protests the firm extended the deadline to the end of 2006.
Joan Gorton, secretary of the Huddersfield Epilepsy Group, said people were worried their epilepsy, which had been controlled by the drug, would return.
She added: "The change to another drug could have meant people who had not been suffering fits would have them again.
"For some this would have been devastating. They could have lost their driving licence or even job."
But now Acorus Therapeutics has said the licence to make the drug has been switched to them and it would still be available.
Mrs Gorton said the news came as a huge relief for the 10,000 UK sufferers who take the drug.
Since AstraZeneca decided to stop making Mysoline national pressure group Epilepsy Action has been fighting to keep it available.
Its chief executive, Philip Lee, said: "We are delighted at the news that AstraZeneca will transfer the licence to Acorus Therapeutics."
He added: "We hope that in future, drug companies will consult patients before taking this kind of decision.
"People's health should come first."