Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada


The World Health Organization Rejects Application for MS Treatments on Their Latest Essential Medicines List

  • Announcement

July 10, 2019 – In December 2018, the MS International Federation (MSIF) applied to the World Health Organization (WHO) to add three MS treatments from various DMT categories to its latest Essential Medicines List (EML).

The WHO has announced that it will not be adding these medicines to the EML. While this is disappointing news for people living with MS globally, applying to the EML allowed MSIF to place a renewed focus on MS treatments worldwide. The WHO Expert Committee recognised the public health need for effective and affordable treatments for MS and requested a revised submission in two years’ time.

In a statement issued by the MSIF, they comment that the application process was an extremely useful opportunity for them to build a movement of organisations and supporters who they can now work with to continue the journey towards improving access to medicines for people with MS.

MSIF applied for three DMTs, from three categories of safety, efficacy and administration (glatiramer acetate, fingolimod and ocrelizumab), to be included on the WHO’s EML, advocating that at least one DMT in each category should be available as a minimum for treating MS.

MSIF submitted their EML application to the WHO in collaboration with fellow members, the World Federation of Neurology and regional Treatment and Research in MS committees (TRIMS) in Europe, Latin America, North America, the Middle East and Asia. Letters of support for the application were sent from over 20 organisations across the world including the MS Society of Canada.

MSIF will continue discussions with the WHO and identify the next steps in relation to the EML and towards achieving the goal of improving access to treatments for people affected by MS around the world.

Additional Links:

MSIF Statement

WHO News Release

Full application

More information on DMT options in Canada 

Open navigation