Widening access to multiple sclerosis treatments

Previously, to be prescribed these medicines you needed to walk 500m without assistance, however we changed this to 100m.

This meant that 1,800 people with MS could stay on their treatment for longer, and some who had stopped funded treatment were eligible to restart.

Jeremy Seed (Kai Tahu/Kati Mamoe), a former New Zealand Army officer and father of two who has had multiple sclerosis for more than 11 years, was relieved when he learnt that he was able to stay on his treatment for longer.

“It was really good news,” Jeremy told us. “The 500m walk was an annual stressor, and I was worried each time I would no longer qualify for my medication.

“Being able to stay on my treatment means I can focus on the things that matter – my family first and foremost, and my new role with the RSA.”

“Ironically, stress can exacerbate MS, so not having to worry about it is fantastic.” We also simplified the application process to make it quicker for people with MS to access treatments and less burdensome for clinicians to apply.

Jeremy recently retired from the New Zealand Army and now works for the Returned and Services Association (RSA), supporting current and former military personnel and their families.

“Being able to stay on my treatment means I can focus on the things that matter – my family first and foremost, and my new role with the RSA.”

More about Jeremy's story – Multiple sclerosis website(external link)