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Charity, Patient or Professional Association of the Year

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Highly Commended

MS Society


Summary of work

More than 100,000 people in the UK have multiple sclerosis, and the MS Society is fighting to improve treatment and care to help people with MS (PwMS) take control of their lives.

For some PwMS there are licensed treatments that can help them: disease-modifying treatments (DMTs). Access to effective treatments is the top priority for PwMS, but only 56% of those who could benefit from DMTs are accessing them. Some PwMS have another – controversial and illegal – preferred treatment for managing their condition: cannabis.

Being the first charity to publically back legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use was bold but not without severe reputational risk and needed careful public and political positioning. But it is important our policy reflects the evidence and needs of PwMS.

In 2017, we announced our new positon; but calls for access to this treatment were shadowed by attempts to defer access to DMTs, for newly diagnosed PwMS in Northern Ireland. This would have affected the health of these individuals and set a dangerous precedent. A challenge we organised against and successfully fought within a short time frame.

We will continue to ensure PwMS can access effective treatments that can help them manage their condition.

Judges' comments

The judges felt that the MS Society’s message was an important and powerful campaign that handled a controversial topic incredibly well and it really paid off. It was bold and well managed, and could encourage other charities to be brave with their campaigns. They also praised how the campaign tackled local issues in Northern Ireland, as well as those country-wide.


Winner


Highly commended



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Behind the Judging: Communiqué Awards

Behind the Judging: Communiqué Awards
Find out what the chair of judges Anna Korving, senior judges Sarah Matthew and Annabelle Sandeman and previous award winners Paul Tanner, 90TEN and Emma Reynolds, Cohn & Wolfe; have to say on how the judging process works, what the judges focus on, tips on what helps and what distracts within an entry and get insights into how previous winners have created that stand out submission.