The European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) represents more than 600,000 people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in Europe. Their needs are the main focus of our advocacy and awareness-raising campaigns. Our flagship projects aim to improve quality of life as well as access to treatment, care and employment. En route to its ultimate vision of a world without multiple sclerosis, EMSP works to ensure that people with MS have a real voice in determining their own priorities.
EMSP brings together MS activists from across Europe, relying on a growing network of 41 member organisations from 36 European countries.
We are the only MS specific organisation that can influence health and other EU policies. This capacity was proven again in 2014, when EMSP received a European Commission grant to produce and promote a Pact for Employment supporting people with MS and other neurodegenerative diseases. It shows our potential to adapt to new expectations from EU decision-makers that patient organisations should be relevant to more than one disease area.
At the same time, EMSP continues to strengthen ties with other patient organisations and federations – such as the European Patients’ Forum (EPF), the European Federation for Neurological Associations (EFNA) and the European Brain Council (EBC). We are also in a position to leverage our direct access to the European regulator for pharmaceutical products, the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Our deliverables for MS communities in Europe make us a credible and transparent partner for important stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry. Their support is significant in helping to improve the continuation of our flagship projects aiming to enhance the quality of life of over 700,000 people living with MS in Europe.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system, amongst the most debilitating neurological disorders for young people. It is a complex condition and no two people are affected in the same way. Symptoms range from fatigue and depression to severe mobility problems and blindness in extreme cases. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, and for half of them unemployment follows, on average, three years after.
There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis, but the condition can be managed through specialised help, starting with early diagnosis and continuing with person-centered therapies and appropriate medication. But there are tremendous discrepancies in access to treatment and care across Europe.
- European MS Barometer - a bi-annual collection of comparative MS data provided by national MS societies;
- Under Pressure - a multimedia project involving renowned photographers, illustrating the healthcare inequalities captured in the MS Barometer;
- EUReMS - a data-collection initiative aimed at building a cross-border MS-information infrastructure which combines knowledge from specialists, researchers and patients;
- MS Nurse Pro - an accredited online education programme, promoting the role of MS nurses and the provision of care across Europe ;
- Believe and Achieve – an awareness-raising campaign to improve access to employment and training for young people with MS in Europe.
CALL TO ACTION
The European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) is asking fellow patient organisations, national and European decision-makers and European employers to support a recently launched Employment Pact for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurodegenerative diseases.
As signalled by EMSP’s Chief Executive Maggie Alexander, the Employment Pact provides all those interested in improving this situation the chance to act with urgency:
“We are asking you - our member societies, partner NGOs and members of the European Parliament - to endorse this Pact. To spread the word and demonstrate good practice.”
Those who believe in our mission can support us by making donations or by promoting our messages and projects. All the useful information is made available on the ‘Get Involved’ section of our Under Pressure website - www.underpressureproject.eu