Patients Deserve Better

New medicines can’t help if patients can’t access them!

Scientific advances have led to advances in treatments for MS.1 However, patients cannot begin to experience improved quality of life and better survival rates if they do not have quick access to the innovative medicines.

With this in mind, it is time to look at a way forward that makes sense for everyone, but in particular, patients.

Every country in Western Europe has a system that gives patients access to new medicines at a negotiated price.

Why is Ireland one of the slowest?2

Why can’t Ireland replicate the systems elsewhere in Europe that deliver fast access to new medicines for patients?

Why don’t people in Ireland deserve a market access system that is fit for purpose and delivers value?

The State must deliver a new market access system that is:

  •             Delivering fast access to new medicines
  •             Transparent
  •             Reliable
  •             Sustainable

Other countries such as Germany offer models as to how this can be done.


Stats and facts

Access to medicines in Ireland

The rate of availability for new medicines in Ireland is alarmingly low. It’s half that of Germany and the UK, and lower than countries such as Belgium, Greece and France.

Less than 1 in 2 new medicines launched internationally is available in Ireland.2

58% of medicines approved by the European Commission in 2017 are not available in Ireland.2

The time between approval and reimbursement in Ireland has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Irish patients used to be able to access medicines within 3 months of EMA approval. Now it takes an average of 486 days.2

MS in Ireland

Multiple Sclerosis is a condition affecting the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and the spinal cord.3 Nine thousand people and their family members live with MS across Ireland.3

MS is commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 and MS is three times more common in women than in men.3

Symptoms can affect nearly every part of the body and the mind. Up to 88% of people with MS experience fatigue.4 It is estimated that for all MS patients, the chance of walking unaided in 15 years following disease onset is 50%.5

Vision difficulties are common, and a first symptom in 15-20% of people with MS.6

There is no cure for MS, but research continues to better understand and treat the disease.7

Multiple Sclerosis Ireland is the only national organisation providing information, support and advocacy services to the MS community. Find out more at