Select Committee on Health Minutes of Evidence

Annex C


  We received donations of £100,000 from Serono Pharmaceuticals Ltd and £100,000 from Biogen Ltd to help fund the MS fast-track nurse scheme. This scheme provides pump-priming for MS nurse posts, and the Society itself has contributed £100,000 to the fund. A further company, Teva Pharmaceuticals, is involved in the scheme, but its £100,000 contribution was not received until 2003. These three companies are manufacturers of disease-modifying therapies for MS. (The fourth manufacturer, Schering, has opted not to be involved in the scheme.) Nurses funded through the scheme are employed by the NHS, work with all people with MS—not just those receiving disease-modifying therapies—and do not promote any particular product. In this arrangement the Society essentially acts as an independent intermediary with most of the money flowing direct to the NHS, apart from a sum retained to provide specialist education for the nurses.

  We received a donation of £101,000 from GlaxoSmithKline to part fund a £140,000 three-year project at Oxford University (the balance of the project costs are met by the Society). Loss of nerve fibres in the central nervous system in MS is irreversible and determine impairment. The project will investigate the extent of nerve fibre loss in people with MS and whether there are compensatory mechanisms for fibre loss that may be increased by drug treatments.

  Small donations from pharmaceutical companies totalling £502 were also received.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2005
Prepared 26 April 2005