Oxford PharmaGenesis has been shortlisted for the Communiqué Awards 2022 for the Award for Excellence in Public Health Communications for MS Brain Health, on behalf of Oxford Health Policy Forum. This global policy initiative has changed the way that leading multiple sclerosis (MS) experts view best practice in MS care.
MS Brain Health is a widely endorsed initiative from the not-for-profit company Oxford Health Policy Forum. Its vision is to create a better future for people with MS and their families. MS Brain Health is the brainchild of Professor of Neurology Gavin Giovannoni, turned into reality by Oxford PharmaGenesis.
The initiative’s success has earned it a finalist position in the Communiqué award category that recognizes ‘excellence in programmes designed to increase public awareness of and sense of responsibility for maintaining or safeguarding public health and well-being’. The Communiqué Awards ceremony will take place on 7 July 2022.
Creating a better future for people living with MS
MS is an incurable chronic disease affecting 2.8 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of non-traumatic neurological disability in young adults in many countries. Every year, around 107 000 people receive a diagnosis of MS.
Better outcomes for people with MS can be achieved through the widespread adoption of a comprehensive therapeutic strategy with a focus on prompt diagnosis, timely intervention, lifestyle optimization, proactive monitoring of disease activity and informed, shared decision-making.
The MS Brain Health initiative, which emerged from the publication of an evidenced-based international consensus report, Brain health: time matters in multiple sclerosis, calls for major policy changes to maximize the lifelong brain health of people with MS and support the care pathway. It has helped to equip people with MS and their carers to live a better life with the disease, and continues to be a catalyst for improvements in MS care worldwide.
Introducing quality standards
MS care differs among and within countries, and before MS Brain Health, there were no internationally applicable quality standards for timely MS care. Shared benchmarks were required to reduce global service provision disparities.
The project has introduced a novel, globally applicable, digital quality improvement tool, based on the MS Brain Health standards, to support MS centres to achieve the benchmarks. A global pilot study of the tool showed that it can promote changes to clinical services.
Changing the global MS landscape
MS Brain Health recommendations are endorsed by 52 professional and patient organizations, and the initiative has over 450 champions from around 65 countries. A 2020 survey and reports from local champions illustrate how MS Brain Health has changed the global MS landscape, including promoting clinical practice changes in 16 countries. Through local action, champions have affected local health policy, increasing the initiative’s momentum.
The first MS Brain Health Awards, held in May 2022, showcased examples of how individuals and organizations have promoted the adoption of MS Brain Health recommendations.
“The awards have been a huge success, which is a wonderful testament to the incredibly high standard of work being carried out globally in improving outcomes for those with an MS diagnosis, as well as the enthusiasm and rigour with which the 2015 report’s recommendations have been implemented and adopted by organizations and individuals around the world,” said Dr Emma Georgiou, Oxford Health Policy Forum’s Executive Director.
Professor Giovannoni said, “MS Brain Health has been the catalyst in getting the MS community to realise that ‘time is brain’, to treat MS to a well-defined target and to manage MS holistically.”