Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

MS sufferers 'facing care lottery'

  • Comment

Multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers are facing a care “lottery”, a charity has warned, after a damning report found that as many as 60% of patients are not receiving life-improving drugs for the incurable autoimmune disease.

Six in 10 MS patients eligible for disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) are not taking them, a new MS Society report found.

More than 100,000 people in the UK are said to have MS - a disease that affects the central nervous system. There is currently no cure but drugs can treat the symptoms and slow the progression of disability.

The MS Society, which released the figures at the start of MS Week, is calling for all people with the condition to have “fair access” to the treatments and services they need.

The report, which features a poll of more than 10,000 sufferers, found that patients in Northern Ireland are twice as likely to be taking a DMTs than those in Wales.

Nick Rijke, director for policy and research at the charity, said: “These findings worryingly suggest that the likelihood of someone receiving a life changing treatment is often based on luck - like where they live or how helpful their healthcare professional is - rather than their genuine clinical need.

“When it comes to prescription rates, the UK ranks 25th out of 27 European countries. Given the relative wealth of the UK, this is simply unacceptable.

“People with MS are facing a lottery when it comes to accessing the care and support they need to manage their condition and this must change.”

A spokesperson for NHS England said: “NHS England will ensure there is equitable access to MS drug treatments that have been approved by NICE.”

Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs