The incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS) is increasing, especially in women over the age of 40, due to the consumption of tobacco and late motherhood or in those cases in which they have not been mothers.
Doctor Oscar Fernández, former president of the Spanish Society of Neurology, warned during an informative meeting in which he presented the document “Recommendations for a National Strategy in Multiple Sclerosis”, prepared by a working group composed of experts from different areas.
The neurologist, who has participated in the document, has indicated that recently it has been known that the incidence of this inflammatory, progressive and degenerative disease is increasing, but not due to a higher prevalence due to a better diagnosis, but to environmental factors, ” that will have to be discovered little by little. ”
During the meeting, organized by Biogen, Dr. Fernández has also had an impact on the inequalities that exist between the different autonomous communities and, even, between hospitals in the same city, in accessing available treatments that, although they do not cure, make it possible to delay the disability ten years.
For his part, José Luis Trillo, head of the Primary Care Pharmacy Service of the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valencia, has defended a comprehensive social health approach to MS and recalled that this group has an unemployment rate 20% higher than the average of the general population.
In that sense, the executive director of Multiple Sclerosis Spain (EME), Pedro Carrascal, has impacted on the lack of social protection of patients and regretted that access to social resources depends on the “good will of the neurologist or the nurse on duty. ”
The implementation of a register of patients with MS, which has already been approved, is one of the initiatives of the strategy proposal, which its authors intend to materialize within the umbrella of the National Strategy on neurodegenerative diseases, approved in 2016.
The development of comprehensive health care plans in multiple sclerosis on which follow-up and measurement of results, as well as training of both the patient and health professionals, are other recommendations of the document, which will be presented to the health authorities, both national and autonomous.
“Now it’s time to start opening doors”, first in the Health Ministries “to see if it crystallizes in some” so that “over time it reaches the Interterritorial Health Council,” said Trillo, former Director General of Pharmacy of the Valencian Community and member of the working group.