Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar has announced the launch of an ‘Access to Medicines’ Campaign Handbook produced by Multiple Sclerosis Ireland. The handbook aims to enable people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to access the medicines they need to treat their condition and impact debilitating symptoms including impaired mobility, severe fatigue and cognitive difficulties. It provides practical advice for people with MS on their medical rights and options as well as how to engage with the health system.
More than 8,000 people are affected by multiple sclerosis in Ireland. MS is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, the most common neurological condition affecting young adults in Ireland. There is no known cause or cure for MS.
Minister Varadkar, who supports the launch of the ‘Access to Medicines’ Campaign Handbook comments, “In Ireland over 8,000 people are living with MS, the launch of this handbook today will empower those 8,000 people and their families to access the medicines needed. This handbook is a fantastic publication and one that I know will prove extremely useful and beneficial to those who will use it.’’
The ‘Access to Medicines’ Campaign Handbook contains information on gaining access to MS medicines in Ireland and includes case studies following the efforts of people with MS, ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s, to secure access to medicines specific to their case. Case studies include Natalie Brennan (25) from Dublin who was successful in accessing MS medicine Lemtrada after appealing to the HSE and her hospital earlier this year and Rosaleen Rafter (61) from Galway currently campaigning for access to Fampyra, an oral treatment to improve mobility in adults with MS, through one of the HSE’s payment schemes.
Ava Battles, Chief Executive, MS Ireland comments, “MS Ireland strongly believes that people with MS should have access to proven and licensed treatments for their condition. This may seem like a very basic demand, and one that it would be hard to refuse, but the truth is that this is not the situation for many people in Ireland today. We see the ‘Access to Medicines’ Campaign Handbook as a bid to empower individuals to secure access to these medicines.”
The ‘Access to Medicines’ Campaign Handbook is available to download from the MS Ireland website,www.ms-society.ie from today August 24th 2015. If you would like any further information on the Campaign Handbook please call the MS Information Line on 1850 233 233 or email email@example.com.
About Multiple Sclerosis:
Multiple Sclerosis is the most common disabling neurological disorder of young adults and affects more than 8,000 people in Ireland. MS is a disease that affects the motor, sensory and cognitive functioning of the body, usually diagnosed between 20 and 40 years of age. The variance in presence, severity and duration of symptoms coupled with the intermittent and progressive nature of MS impacts not only the person with MS but also family. There is no known cause or cure for MS.
About MS Ireland:
MS Ireland is the national organisation providing information, vital services and support to the MS community. The organisation provides a wide range of specialised services and resources on a national, regional and local level. Services include: Regional Community Worker programmes for one-to-one support; physiotherapy; symptom management courses; newly diagnosed sessions and the MS Information Line, one of the first services used in the time leading up to or following a diagnosis. The MS Care Centre is the only national respite and therapy centre for people with MS in Ireland.
More than two-thirds of the 8,000 people living with MS in Ireland access these resources and all those affected by the condition rely on MS Ireland to advocate on their behalf on any issues which will impact their quality of life.
MS Ireland’s main goals as an organisation, are Services Provision; Information; Fundraising; and Research, co-operating with the medical, scientific, social and caring professions to promote scientific research into the cause of, cure for and management of MS, and the alleviation of medical and social symptoms.
MS Ireland staff and volunteers are dedicated to supporting people living with MS, their families and carers.
Members of the public with any queries relating to MS are invited to call the MS Information Line 1850 233 233. Open Monday to Friday 10am–2pm. Calls are strictly confidential.