14 February 2003
The MS Trust has reacted with dismay to the paper by Cathie Sudlow and Carl Counsell to be published in the British Medical Journal on 15 February 2003. The MS Trust, which is part of the Project Monitoring Group for the risk sharing scheme, feels that such criticism is entirely unjustified.
MS Trust Chief Executive Christine Jones says: “We entirely support the sentiments of the statement issued today by Professor David Chadwick and Professor Richard Gray. The NICE appraisal found that the licensed disease modifying drug therapies were clinically effective, but did not represent cost effective use of NHS resources under the then existing arrangements for purchasing the drugs. It invited an exploration of ways in which the treatments could be made available and the Department of Health is to be congratulated for initiating the risk-sharing scheme.
“The scheme will collect data on people with MS being treated in routine
clinical practice. The scheme has MREC approval and we would entirely support
the statement made by the DOH that it was no longer acceptable to see patients
suffer whilst academics argued. For far too long, the care of people with
MS has been inadequate in the UK, and the risk-sharing scheme has brought
hope of an improvement. The additional resources will also bring benefits
to all people with MS not just those on drug therapy. Further work and
resources are needed but the risk-sharing scheme should be supported not
© Copyright 2003, MS Trust