Monday, 28 April 2014

Support the Treat Me Right campaign today!

To Mr Graham Jones MP,

Today marks the launch of the MS Society 'Treat Me Right<http://www.treatmerightms.org.uk/about/>' campaign, which calls for everyone with MS to be able to access the right treatment, at the right time, no matter where they live.

For the more than 100,000 people living with MS in the UK, the right treatment can make a huge difference to their lives, from helping control relapses to managing symptoms.

Access to MS treatments is however abysmally low, with the UK ranked 25th out of 27 European countries on the use of disease modifying drugs. Many people also struggle to access treatments specifically licensed to help with MS symptoms.

New medicines are on their way but unless barriers to accessing medicines are addressed, too few people with MS will benefit from them.

People often face difficulties in accessing MS specialists and a lack of information about the treatment options available to them. In addition, not all treatments have been approved for the NHS by national appraisal bodies, meaning that funding is often an issue. Unless these drugs are given a positive recommendation, there is no obligation for them to be prescribed by healthcare professionals. Having to navigate local funding systems creates anguish and stress, which in turn can exacerbate the symptoms of MS.

In order to address these barriers, we are calling for:

1. All licensed MS treatments to be available on the NHS to everyone eligible for them
2. Regular reviews of treatment and care by MS specialists for everyone with MS
3. All people with relapsing remitting MS invited to talk with a specialist about their treatment, in light of new disease modifying drug (DMD) options in 2014
4. Accessible information about treatment options, and support to be equal partners in decision-making about their treatment and care

Over the course of the campaign, we need your support to help improve access to MS treatments. As a Member of Parliament, please help to support the campaign by:

* Signing EDM 1274<http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/1274> entitled 'MS Week'
* Signing up to the campaign at www.treatmerightms.org.uk/sign-up/<http://www.treatmerightms.org.uk/sign-up/> and pledging your support
* Sharing the campaign with colleagues, and sharing your support on social media using #treatmeright

We hope you will join us in fighting to improve access to MS treatments. If you have any further questions about MS or the MS Society, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your support,

Georgina

Senior Public Affairs Officer, MS Society