I was delighted when asked to make a contribution to a publication by Multiple Sclerosis Ireland (MSI)/Novartis on the Quality of Life (QoL) of people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Ireland (Click Here For Full Report). It was a further honour to have been present at its launch in Dáil Eireann on May 31st, World MS Day. Quality of life is classed as an intangible cost and it is difficult to assign a cash value to it but using all sorts of mathematical wizardry a value was assigned and it equates to 20% of the overall annual cost of MS.
My friend and fellow blogger Aoife Kirwan gave an impassioned and inspirational talk on the issue (Click Here). Please take a few moments to read it in full before you read anymore of this post.
I had the same worries and fears when I was diagnosed in 1988 as no treatments were available and I often wonder where I would be today had I started medication then. On the day of my diagnosis my neurologist said “You have MS –there is no cause, no cure and no treatment”. It was 10 years later after getting a second opinion which confirmed MS that I started medication. Unfortunately, the cause is still unknown and without understanding the cause a cure is nigh impossible to find but treatments are now available.
This infographic shows the societal cost of MS in Ireland and to my way of thinking it is a no brainer to do everything possible to reduce the 50% indirect cost and the 20% intangible costs and if that means incurring extra costs in the short term, so be it. Things have changed somewhat since 1988 but there is a lot more to do.
It is likely that the direct costs will increase but the benefits will far outweigh the extra cost; there will be a decrease in indirect costs and an improvement in the QoL of people living with MS (PwMS). It is a win-win situation.
Professor Gavin Giovannoni of Barts, London (Click Here) believes that early treatment is the key to successful treatment, a view which is widely, but not universally held. I am also a believer. Many people have shunned the pharmaceutical route and opted for dietary or alternative remedies as is their right, and some have been successful.
Remember, we are Ireland and we deserve every chance to live our lives to our fullest potential. Remember, we are Ireland and we would like to be productive members of society for as long as possible. I’d like to thank Aoife for her use of the phrase in her powerful address to the members of the Oireachtas.
Do you use medication or an alternative in your battle against MS?