This year the MS Trust has worked with health professionals, people with MS and other MS charities to try to create a new focus on treating relapsing remitting MS as soon as possible. We believe there’s increasing evidence that early treatment improves the chances of people with MS staying healthy in the long term.
However, working out which treatment is right for you can seem more complicated than ever. The range of options for MS treatment has expanded significantly in recent years. There are now 11 disease modifying drugs licensed for treating MS in the UK. They’re each taken and monitored in different ways, and they each have their own benefits and risks. What’s more, not all of them are available in all parts of the UK.
Back in 2004, the Department of Health launched a website called MS Decisions. This was designed to help people find out more about MS treatment options. Thousands of people visited the site and found the independent information useful. However, over the years, the information didn’t keep pace with the changes in MS treatments.
This year the MS Trust took over responsibility for MS Decisions. We wanted to update it so that it offered reliable, independent information on all the MS drugs now available – and make sure it remains accurate as new treatments become available in the years to come.
But we also wanted to make sure that the information was presented in a way that made it easy for people to MS to see what options were available, consider the factors that are important to them, and compare MS drugs in a simple, intuitive way.
We’ve worked closely with people with MS, MS nurses and neurologists to develop the new MS Decisions. The site now features a guide to making your decision, full details about all of the drugs, a list of common questions, as well the decision aid.
We’ve also redesigned our booklet Disease modifying drugs to complement the site and to help people with their MS become better informed and have more productive meetings with their health professionals.
Over the following pages, we explain how the new resource works, speak to some of the people who’ve helped us develop it and hear from people with MS who’ve tried it out.
As with everything the MS Trust does, MS Decisions is only possible thanks to our supporters. We’d like to thank the February Foundation, the Sylvia Adams Trust, the Astor Foundation and the Goldsmiths Company for particular support for this project. But we’d also like thank all of you who made a donation, took part in a fundraising event, completed a survey or helped us to promote MS Decisions. With your help we can make sure that people with MS receive independent, reliable information that works for them.