Rachel, MS Reporter: How can MSers and neurologists make shared decisions about their treatment?
Prof. Jeremy Hobart, Consultant Neurologist:So, how do they do that? There are a number of things, but I appreciate at this time point this is an area for evolution and development. The first thing I think there needs to be is honesty and transparency. So honesty and transparency about the disease and the impact of untreated MS.
The second thing is transparency about eligibility for treatments. So, in all countries now, there are guidances for prescribing, which do vary across countries, but any person at any time point is going to be eligible for multiple different treatments. It’s highly unlikely you’ll only be eligible for one treatment. So that ground needs to be laid out. People need to be given information about each of the different treatments they’re eligible for and then the trade-offs associated with them, to the extent that we can do that. That is time consuming and it sometimes has to be done repeatedly for people so that it- because it is a complex area. And in that way I think we empower people to make the decisions that they wish to take and I think the clinician’s role is to provide the evidence as best we can about the relative differences between the treatments, but is very much, should be the person with MS’s role and responsibility to make the decision that they feel is best for them. Because at the end of the day, it’s the people with MS who have the disease, not the clinicians who treat them.
So we can- we’re here to advise and educate, but we have to allow people to make their own decisions and I think that’s really important. And in doing so you empower people to manage their health. So in situations now where, for example in Plymouth we have, on our MS database we have fifteen hundred and sixteen people as of the day I left the country, and each individual person has themselves to look after. So it’s working the partnership that maximises an individual person’s care.
Expert:Prof. Jeremy Hobart, Consultant Neurologist