The European Brain Council (EBC) launched RETHINKING MS in 2018, calling for change in how MS care and support is organised. Building on the findings from the 2017 Value of Treatment report, this pan-European policy narrative identifies key challenges in MS care and makes recommendations for how they can be addressed. The project aims to create greater visibility for the unmet needs experienced by people with MS, with a particular focus on three key areas: timely diagnosis and personalised treatment; interdisciplinary and coordinated care; and adaptable support in daily life, including rehabilitation and social protection.

EBC and project partners Health Policy Partnership (HPP) collaborated with experts from across Europe to build an interdisciplinary consensus around practical and sustainable policy responses to MS at the European level. This formed the basis of the core report, RETHINKING MS in Europe: prioritising integrated services for people with multiple sclerosis.

As different countries face specific challenges, it is also important to consider the national context when advocating for policy change. For this reason, the original RETHINKING MS included taking an in-depth look at the country level, in this case, Denmark, Italy, Romania and Spain. The dedicated reports on each country provide a more specific analysis of MS policy, care and support available for people with MS in each country. On the 6th November 2019, the country profiles were presented at the European Parliament “MEP Interest Group Meeting on Brain, Mind and Pain”. The full event report can be read here. Following this, the full report was released during Brain Awareness Week 2020.

Since, RETHINKING MS has been continued with the launch of an additional chapter, RETHINKING MS in Times of COVID-19, which was accompanied by a Virtual Exhibition, ‘Living with MS during COVID-19: A case for rethinking MS care in the EU’. The exhibition features portraits of supporters of EBC’s RETHINKING MS call: people living with MS, clinicians, care givers, policymakers and industry representatives who want to make a difference in how MS care and treatment are delivered in Europe.

The RETHINKING series continues soon with an extension of the virtual exhibition at the country level and through the expansion into RETHINKING MIGRAINE.

For all existing RETHINKING documents and information, click here.