NICE guidelines on multiple sclerosis are being ignored

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 11 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6525
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Services for patients with multiple sclerosis have failed to show any real improvement over the past five years and guidelines are no nearer being met than when they were issued in 2003, a national audit has shown.

The results are disappointing, especially as the period since 2003 includes the risk sharing scheme for access to multiple sclerosis treatments—designed to make drugs rejected on cost effectiveness grounds by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) more widely available. Although the scheme has been criticised as poorly organised, its defenders have argued that at least it gave patients better access to services.

The audit, carried out by the Royal …

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