It is reported today in our national newspaper The Daily Telegraph today that "Millions wasted on MS drugs" The article reads as follows;
"The NHS has wasted hundreds of millions of pounds on drugs to treat multiple sclerosis which do nothing to help patients, experts claim.
The MS Society is calling for the scrapping of a scheme set up in 2004 to provide Betaferon, Copaxone, Avonex and Rebif to patients at an approximate cost of £8000 each a year.
The price paid by the NHS was supposed to fall if the drugs proved not to be cost effective but htis has not happened even though research haws shown that 10000 recipients would have been better off with a placebo.
Professor George Ebers of Oxford University, called for an independent inquiry into the well intentioned scheme"
This is very worrying for many people and appears to have come out of the blue when I thought there was escellent reserach proving that it reduces relapses by 30%. Has anything been reported in USA?
Sorry if this raises anxiety...but I am just sharing what has been reported in England.
From a fiscally responsible point of view DMDs are a gamble. They do not work for everyone who is on them, the problem is no Doctor can predict who they will work for. MS is a very complicated Disease. It is a shame the Press presented this report in such a simplistic way.
I do not think the USA has anything to worry about. The Specialty Pharmacies and Drug Companies will fight to keep folks with MS on the DMDs there is way to much money at stake. When I got off Copaxone I got calls everyday for weeks and the lengths the Specialty Pharmacy went to was almost criminal.
When I explained I could no longer take the Copaxone because of my PPMS Diagnosis the sales woman said "Can't you get your Doctor to put you on another drug" not because she cared about me but about the thousands of dollars they were losing a year."
I was really curious about this article and decided to ring the MS Society myself to seek clarification as I felt they had been misrepresented in the papers having looked at their web site.
I spoke to their research team who said that their Press Team were working overtime to try and get something out to clarify the position further. He said that current research does stand and that the MS Society believes that interferon treatment does still work for many people in reducing relapse rates by 30% and their position was to do with risk taking and funding...NOT as reported as saying that a placebo was as effective as interferon treatment.
Sorry for worrying everyone...but it was printed in a usually very reliable newspaper..but just goes to show that journalists twist things very dangerously
The risk sharing scheme in England (scheme is their word, not mine) is quite complex. And with the amount of debt the NHS is facing and trying to reconcile, it would not surprise me if they wanted to declare the DMDs didn't work, and therefore they don't have to pay the drug companies and can phase out treatments. That is my own spin on the conspiracy theory. :-)
from Reuters - http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE6526F620100603
"The risk sharing scheme was set up by the government in 2002 to make disease-modifying multiple sclerosis drugs available on the NHS after the country's health costs watchdog, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), ruled that they were not cost effective.
Under the terms of the scheme, the government agreed to pay for the drugs on the NHS while research was carried out to assess their long-term cost effectiveness. The agreement was that the NHS would then gradually stop paying for the drugs if patients did not appear to be benefiting"
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