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How can pharma help doctors in treating neurological disorders?

Pool resources to fund independent neurological nurses, says one senior doctor

Online Physician CommunitiesThe large number of treatments that are now available to treat neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's disease, and the complex nature of these medications, are key challenges for neurologists. member Dr Imtiaz Ahmed, who is a consultant neurologist at a district general hospital in the east of England, says there used to be only two or three medications for MS, but now there are six or seven with more coming out all the time.

Similarly, with Parkinson's disease, there are multiple drugs that can be prescribed but in some cases around four in 100, patients will develop a serious side-effect called impulse control disorder. To identify it, they all need to be closely followed up.

So how can pharma help doctors to overcome these challenges? Dr Ahmed would like to see pharma companies pool resources to fund independent, neurological nurses to provide patient support.

He said: “The medications we are prescribing are complex and it is very difficult for us to give patients all the information they need in a half-hour clinical slot. However, it is not enough to simply give people an iPad presentation or a website address for more information. Patients need to be able to talk to someone who can answer their questions.”

In addition to explaining more about conditions and medications, Dr Ahmed says the nurses could take a huge pressure off doctors by following up with patients, ideally once every two months, and feeding back on how they are tolerating their treatment.

Another change that he would like to see is better education for doctors about new medications.

He explained: “Of course, we can read about these things in the medical journals and on sites like, but I would also like to see more educational meetings where several companies talk about their products and where there is discussion with doctors about how they work in particular patients and circumstances.

“These meetings should be dominated by discussion, not flip charts, so we can learn from the experience of other doctors. I really think doctors and pharma should be working much more closely together. Pharma companies bring products to market but we need more help at the points of delivery, in the training about the products, in monitoring they are used safely and in helping patients understand why they need to be taken on a regular basis.”

By Dr Tim Ringrose, CEO of M3 Europe

For more information on M3, the global provider of technology services in healthcare, and its new European Division which includes,, and, please call Tim Ringrose on +44 (0)1235 828400, or email

9th May 2014

From: Marketing



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