MS Costs Wales 67m A Year

A new study of people living with the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) has shown the true economic cost amounts to more than 67 million pounds a year in Wales.

The independent research is one of the largest ever studies into the financial impact of MS and has revealed that the cost of being diagnosed with MS is on average nearly 17,000 per person per year.

Care provided informally by families accounts for more than 70% of this.

For the more than 4,000 people living with the condition in Wales, this works out to be a total expense to the economy of more than 67 million, making MS second only to tumours as the most costly brain condition across Europe.

Worse still, the study found that half the number of people 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.

Judi Rhys, Director of MS Cymru, said, “This research shows the shocking cost of living with MS.

“It is better for the Welsh NHS and for society as a whole to keep people with MS as healthy as possible and in work for as long as possible. This study shows how cutting corners in health and social care is counter productive.

“Caring for people with Multiple Sclerosis has a real economic cost and I believe that the Welsh Assembly needs to prioritise the Carers LCO (Legislative Competency Order) and take action in this important area.”

The Costs of MS study analyses the economic cost, quality of life and disability associated with MS and the independent research was carried out for the MS Society by Dr Paul McCrone from Kings College London and published in the peer reviewed
journal of Pharmacoeconomics.

Dr McCrone said,”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.”

With bills for care from family and friends estimated to be worth more than 67 million and the cost of home adaptations costing 2 million alone, it is no surprise that MS Cymru grants for financial advice and assistance are in high demand.