• The World Health Organization recently added three disease-modifying therapies for Multiple Sclerosis to its Essential Medicines List.
  • UAE-based National Multiple Sclerosis Society supported the London-based Multiple Sclerosis International Federation’s application with a statement of support from HE Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi.
  • WHO approval for MS medicine to be added to its Essential Medicines List will result in increased availability and disbursement of therapies across the globe.

Abu Dhabi, UAE: Her Excellency Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, Vice Chair of the National MS Society Board of Trustees and Executive Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Programme at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC) has praised the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to approve three Multiple Sclerosis Disease-Modifying Therapies – A.10 Cladribine, glatiramer, and rituximab – as part of its Essential Medicines List, calling it a “significant milestone for the global MS community” – especially for those living in resource-limited settings.

Led by one of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s (NMSS) key global partners, the London-based Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), this marks the first-ever successful application to the WHO Expert Committee on Essential Medicines on the addition of an MS-dedicated section into the EML.

Earlier this year, Her Excellency penned a statement of support on behalf of NMSS to supplement the MSIF application. Commenting on the approval by WHO, she said: “The approval by WHO represents the start of a significant chapter for the global MS community and one that will provide those that are living with MS with increased availability and disbursement of therapies across the globe. This is particularly important for those in resource-limited settings.

“Since its inception, NMSS has been guided by a mission to build a world that is free of MS, and advocates for better access to treatment for all people living with MS in the UAE and beyond.

“These approved treatments are aligned with most international guidelines that carry good safety profiles, and are also proven to be effective. They will enable patients to access high-quality, evidence-based treatments, helping to reduce the pain that they are unfortunately suffering from daily.

“As the UAE continues to develop its healthcare system, the country is also committed to providing a variety of MS treatments, with medical professionals proactively building domestic capabilities for Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

“We are going in the right direction, and WHO’s announcement is a moment that we should all celebrate. While progress continues to be made, we are acutely aware that much more is required going forward if we are to impact people’s lives and give them a better future. NMSS is committed to continuing to work with local and international partners to improve diagnosis and access to treatment, and ultimately to finding a cure.”

Her Excellency Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, Vice Chair of the National MS Society Board of Trustees and Executive Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Programme at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC)

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society:

Established in 2022 under the Ministry of Community Development, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) is a UAE-based NGO created to better the lives of people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and their communities in the UAE through education, advocacy and advancing global efforts to finding a cure for MS.

NMSS is governed by a board of trustees, advised by a local and international Strategic Advisory Committee and Medical Advisory Committee, and supported by MS ambassadors and volunteers to ensure that people affected by MS have access to high quality care and get the guidance they need through reliable resources.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society works with leading national medical institutions and renowned global partners to build a trusted network of healthcare providers and MS-related support organisations. The society aims to raise awareness of MS, create a holistic ecosystem for the MS community in the UAE, and provide support and resources for those affected by MS.