MS drug scheme 'is an expensive failure'

MS drug scheme 'is an expensive failure'

The Risk Sharing Scheme, set up in 2002 to make four drugs for multiple sclerosis (MS) available on the NHS, is an expensive failure, it is claimed.

A series of articles in the British Medical Journal have called for the review of the scheme, which aimed to provide people living with relapsing remitting or secondary progressive MS with beta interferon and glatiramer acetate treatments.

While the programme has succeeded in doing this, it has failed to recognise changes in MS care guidance and does not consider new evidence or drugs that are available, the journal explains.

For this reason the MS Society withdrew its support for the scheme back in December 2009, so the society hopes the British Medical Journal findings will prompt ministerial action.

"We are calling on the new government to ensure that people with MS across the UK have equity of access to the right drug, at the right time in line with current evidence. This cannot be achieved through the current scheme," said Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the MS Society.

Read about Barchester expertise in offering multiple sclerosis support.