Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 180, Issue 2, pp 337–341

Disease-modifying drugs in multiple sclerosis: a review of expenditure in Ireland

Review Article



The prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) in Ireland is well over the European and global averages and the costs associated with managing this disease are placing a heavy economic burden on the Irish healthcare system. This paper investigates how current therapies used to treat MS are impacting on the total cost of MS as well as the potential impact of oral therapies in the MS marketplace.


Sales and expenditure data on MS disease-modifying drugs were reviewed as were market reports on forthcoming therapies in the MS pipeline. Clinical trial results for both current and prospective compounds were also reviewed to analyse how safety and efficacy data are influencing drug availability and expenditure.


The high cost of disease-modifying drugs is substantially increasing the total cost of MS in Ireland. Newer therapies are likely to contribute to this trend. Safety concerns continue to be a barrier to advancement of the most promising compounds in the MS pipeline.


Structures and/or treatment algorithms may be needed to help manage the growing cost of treating MS in Ireland to ensure all patients have access to safe, efficacious treatments.


Multiple sclerosis Neuropharmacology 

Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, College GreenDublin 2Ireland

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