§ Mrs. Iris Robinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funding has been provided to make beta interferon and glatiramer available to multiple sclerosis sufferers; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Angela Smith
A total of £3.6 million was spent on these disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis sufferers in 2002–03, increasing to £4.1 million in 2003–04. The Health and Social Services Boards have provisionally allocated £4.5 million to cover the cost of these medicines for patients in the current financial year. This represents a 23 per cent. increase in funding since 2002–03.
A further £100,000 (recurrent and uplifted for inflation) has been provided since 2002–03 to enhance the infrastructure required for the delivery of these medicines.