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The True Cost of Multiple Sclerosis

October 21, 2015

A report has come out that may have determined the true cost of Multiple Sclerosis, and it says that the people of Ireland with MS pay thousands of euro each year on various costs associated with their disease.
The report, titled The Societal Cost of MS, reveals that a diagnosis of MS costs Irish society more than €429 million per year (equating to $486,700,500). This comes out to €17,103 per case ($19,403). Most of the money is spent on GP and hospital visits.
However, there are some indirect things that go along with this disease that are inflating this total as well. Things such as:

  • Patient or their caregiver taking days off from work (1 in 3 of employed MS patients found their work hours reduced)
  • Paying for childcare (66% of patients say they don’t provide as much for their child as they want, 75% said that their children don’t take part in certain activities because of their MS)
  • Transportation to appointments
  • Parking

This survey included 600 Irish MS patients. It determined that almost 85% visit their GP 6 or more times a year. 33% of patients have been treated for depression and 25% for anxiety. A resounding 92% suffer from constant fatigue.
The report noted that 40% of patients had experienced at least 1 relapse in the past year. The total cost of relapses for the Irish MS community equates to €17 Million ($19,286,000). According to the report, a chunk of €10 million could be taken off the top if relapses were reduced.
According to Ava Battles, CEO of MS Ireland, which produced the report, these findings are “extremely important for those who live with MS, their families and healthcare professionals”.

"We now need to use these findings to influence a reduction in relapses and in progression of the disabling disease. Responses from families throughout Ireland have clearly shown that improved employment opportunities are needed for those with MS.”