Availability of Disease-modifying therapies for MS: a global perspective
The MSIF (Multiple Sclerosis International Federation) published in 2013 Atlas of MS, an update on an earlier version published in 2008. The objective was to basically get an update on the global prevalence of MS, resources and services distributed by country.
Below is the global prevalence of MS by country (an estimation only); this number has increased from 2.1 to 2.3 million. This is partly due to the increased survival of the world population, but may also be due to better diagnosis and reporting of MS. You'll see that most of Sub-Saharan Africa did not provide any data.
In 96% of HIGH INCOME countries, the cost of 1st line DMTs (disease modifying therapies: interferons and glatiramer acetate) were either fully or partly-funded by the government - I refer to our UK risk-sharing scheme. This figure sharply drops to 45% in the LOWER MIDDLE INCOME countries and 0% in the LOW INCOME COUNTRIES. Access to more active therapies, such as natalizumab and fingolimod, also appears to be only an option for the privileged. When asked why, 86% of the lower and lower middle income countries listed affordability as the most common reason. This is a post-code lottery on a global scale.
"I am a poor man, but I have this consolation: I am poor by accident, not by design" - Josh Billings.