HC Deb 19 May 2004 vol 421 c1096W
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. [173606]

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.