Treatments available in Guernsey
In 2015, the MS Society, together with the Association of British Neurologists, published a new consensus on the treatment of MS. The new guidelines can be read in full here.
As at May 2017, Guernsey's health service had not officially recognised, and does not routinely adhere to, the new treatment consensus. In addition, neither of the two drugs, proven to be significantly more effective at reducing relapses in patietnts with frequently relapsing MS, are available on the island.
Some of the main points of this new consensus include:
- Early treatment may reduce or delay progression.
- Disease modifying therapy should be started and supervised by an MS specialist neurologist
- Most licensed therapies have some effect on reducing relapses but there is not a proven link between fewer relapses and long-term functionality.
- Two therapies (Lemtrada and Tysabri) may be particularly effective in reducing relapses but the treatments are not suitable for all patients and both carry higher risks than other less effective therapies. Note: Neither drug is available in Guernsey.
- People with MS should be reviewed by a Neurologist (preferably with specialist knowledge of MS) once a year.
- The ABN recommends regular MRI scans for people with certain forms of MS. It is unclear whether people with stable MS will benefit from regular scans.
- As newer treatments emerge and when there is clinical equipoise (balance of benefit against risk) agreed between clinician and patient, and there are clinical trials available for recruitment, then patients should be offered participation in relevant studies.