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Beta Interferon And Glatiramer

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 30 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the implementation of HSC 2002/004 regarding the prescription plus scheme for Beta Interferon and Glatiramer; and if he will list the representations he has received from (a) NHS trusts, (b) strategic health authorities, (c) primary care trusts, (d) NGOs, (e) members of the public and (f) hon. Members regarding the scheme. [109711]

There are 64 specialist neurology centres designated to initiate treatment under the risk-sharing scheme and the majority are now doing so. We estimate that around 300 new patients each month are starting to receive a drug treatment for their multiple sclerosis. Since May 2002, the Department's records indicate that we dealt with 28 parliamentary questions, 16 letters from hon. Members and Peers, 24 letters from the public and one letter from a primary care trust about the scheme. Officials have also dealt directly with written and telephone inquiries from a variety of sources.