§ Earl Howe
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What was the commencement date for the risk sharing scheme announced in February 2002 in respect of beta interferon and multiple sclerosis; and [HL1830]
How many patients in England were on waiting lists for treatment with beta interferon for multiple sclerosis when the 2002 risk sharing scheme began; an [HL1831]
Whether they will publish a progress report on the implementation of the risk sharing scheme for beta interferon; and [HL1832]
What guidance they have given to patient care trusts to encourage them to implement the risk sharing scheme for beta interferon.[HL1833]
§ Baroness Andrews
It was estimated that up to 9,000 patients in England and Wales may be eligible to receive a drug treatment for their multiple sclerosis under the risk sharing scheme which started on 6 May 2002. Guidance on implementation was included in Health Service Circular 2002–04 issued on 4 February 2002. Strategic health authorities and primary care trusts were further reminded of their responsibilities to implement the scheme in theChief Executive's Bulletin dated 17 July 2002. We have set up a steering group involving a range of stakeholders to oversee implementation of the scheme but there are no plans to publish a formal progress report.