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The cost of MS to the UK economy

NOVEMBER 25, 2008

A new research study carried out by Dr Paul McCrone of the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London and colleagues has revealed the cost to the UK economy of looking after people with multiple sclerosis. The independent research is one of the largest ever studies into the financial impact of MS.

The researchers surveyed 2,000 MS patients and found that they cost the equivalent of nearly £17,000 per year in care support and medication. Care provided informally by families accounts for more than 70% of this.

The study also found that among  people surveyed from across the UK, half said they had to leave work due to their MS, pushing the figure to more than £25,000 per person when lost employment is added.

For the 85,000 living with the condition, this works out to be a total expense to the economy of £1.4billion, making MS second only to tumours as the most costly brain condition across Europe

Lead researcher Dr McCrone based in the Institute's Centre for the Economics of Mental Health (CEMH) commented on the survey, saying: ”The costs associated with MS are substantial. Most of the service costs are hidden as they represent care provided by family members.

“It is crucial that evaluations of any new treatments or forms of care should assess their impact on carer costs as well as the costs of statutory services.”

The study has shown that the cost of MS can be broken down as follows:
The Cost of MS
 Informal care  £1,021 million (72%)
 Professional care  £245 million (17.2%)
 Medication  £115.5 million (8.1%)
 Aids and adaptations  £37.1million (2.30%)
 Medical tests  £5.7million (0.4%)
Bills for care from family and friends estimated to be worth more than a billion pounds alone and the cost of home adaptations running into tens of millions,

The full report has been published in the  peer reviewed journal of Pharmacoeconomics.
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