The provincial government has named an advisory panel of medical experts, multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and family members and research and health provider groups to recommend options for advancing the science of MS for the benefit of patients. After reviewing MS-related research opportunities, the panel will submit recommendations to the Ministry of Health in early 2015.
“This advisory panel is an excellent way to engage people with MS and their family members or caregivers in the process of recommending options for MS research and support for patients in Saskatchewan,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. “The personal experience and knowledge of people with strong interests and expertise in this area will inform our consideration of future opportunities for government support.”
The panel includes MS patients and advocates, researchers and medical specialists, as well as representatives from health organizations, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the provincial Office of Disability Issues.
The panel will make specific recommendations on opportunities to:
enable Saskatchewan patients to participate in clinical trials that focus on improving the condition of patients and relieving symptoms;
improve the care experience of Saskatchewan MS patients; and
better support MS research and education in Saskatchewan.
“We are pleased to be able to work alongside the government and other stakeholders who continue to show a commitment to support MS research and improved patient care in the province,” MS Society of Canada - Saskatchewan Division President Erin Kuan said. “Research offers people living with MS hope, and we are excited to be part of the discussion about how best to increase research capacity and access to care in Saskatchewan."
MS is a degenerative neurological disease that impairs or destroys the function of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. About 3,700 Saskatchewan people are affected.