Burning debate results


The Burning Debate held at ECTRIMS yesterday was eloquently argued on both sides, by Magd Zakaria and Gisela Kobelt. And of course it was expertly chaired by Jackie Palace.

The motion was: It is inappropriate to prescribe interferon beta and glatiramer acetate for active relapsing MS. (We had comments yesterday that the motion could be confusing, because of the way it’s worded. I would agree with that!)

The final result was a swing vote:

There were some interesting comments during the debate, which led to discussions between the panel:

What do you think? Do you agree with the result?

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Rebecca Aldam


  • After some time away from the almost daily reading of the blog, today I returned and already found this interesting debate raised by MD on Ectrims.
    I’m totally in favor of using and researching off-label medications. I understand the spending the pharmaceutical industry has on developing new drugs, but the prices are getting more and more absurd. And I don’t just talk about MS medications, I talk about other diseases too.
    I was startled when I read about a new drug to treat spinal cord atrophy in children, Zolgensma (Novartis), costing $ 2.1 million.
    It’s simply surreal, it’s almost like actually condemning a child to death, even if one has access to medication that could keep her alive and relatively well for years. Here in Brazil (which has been more chaotic than it was lately) oral Cladribine has been approved and incorporated into the free distribution list of the SUS (brazilian equivalent of the british NHS) of high cost medicines in the country.

    • You can watch the debate, but you can ask was the audience loaded with people allied to either camp so was the vote impartial? You also ask about the
      debating style. Was the Chewbacca defence used (talk abou any old stuff to confuse the jury (audience)). The purpose of the debates are to get neurologists to think about social media and to get into that space, because this is the space that is occupied by people with MS and the nutters with the crap ideas that need to be countered as quickly as they appear. You are right the loser should have won easily…they were annoyed that they didn’t

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