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Multiple Sclerosis Coalition Applauds World Health Organization Decision

July 26, 2023

Recently, the World Health Assembly adopted the Intersectoral Global Action Plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders, making brain health a global priority for the World Health Organization (WHO). With approximately 2.8 million people worldwide facing a high risk of disability and need for healthcare resources, MS is clearly a global health issue.

The MS Coalition applauds the WHO’s inclusion of MS disease modifying treatments (DMTs) on the Essential Medicines List (EML) as part of its commitment to brain health. This decision is an important step to increasing worldwide access to life-changing medications. Affordable access to DMTs is essential for all people with MS and aligns with the Coalition’s mission to improve the quality of life for those affected by MS. While there are far more DMTs available in some parts of the world, the inclusion of these DMTs on the EML list is a significant action towards equitable access around the world.

The EML list provides options for personalized treatment for each person’s disease course and individual circumstance by including DMTs with a range of efficacy, route of administration and monitoring requirements. The Coalition recognizes that while the United States has numerous FDA-approved DMTs available, off-label DMTs can also be an important intervention for disease modification and may be more readily available and affordable in other health systems, especially in low-resource settings. The Coalition thanks the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) for leading this critically important work.

Member organizations of the MS Coalition are: Accelerated Cure Project, the Consortium of MS Centers, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, the International Organization of MS Nurses, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, United Spinal Association, and MS Views & News. Find the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition online at

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


© 2023 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.