Interferon availability in UK

Hi everyone,

I have lived in Australia for 8 years but want to return to Europe next year to live. I currently take Interferon 44mg 3 times per week and it works fantastic for me as I haven’t had an exacerbation since 2005.

can anyone tell me if it is available on the health service in England or Ireland - and also how much it would cost privately. I did live in Spain for 3 years and received the medicine there - but with the current financial climate there I don’t hold out much hope.

Thanks for any help

Hi there, I lived in Spain for 6 years, I still kept in touch with my GP in UK, I contacted them to tell them I was returning to UK and was on interferon injections, the same dosage as you. They arranged for me to see a neurologist and an MS nurse, they carried on my injections, no problem at all.



I lived in S E Asia for 8 years and was diagnosed there. I started Rebif 44 in 2000 (paid for in cash - ouch!) and we came back to the UK in 02.

Right at the same time, Tony Blair did one great thing and started up the risk-sharing scheme, which was a gesture rather than a proper ‘trial’ as such to give access to the DMDs for those who qualified (or already on a DMD but forced to pay for it). We still had our UK health cards and got straight back into the NHS.

By the time I saw my neuro, I was just about to run out of Rebif and he prescribed and I carried on with the injections without a break (phew!).

Now, I live in Spain and as my husband is retired (early) we got into the provincial health system ( each bit has its own health care) and after a while without the Rebif, I had a relapse and went into hospital. I met my neuro and he asked the hospital board for funding and I restarted the Rebif. I thought I’d be an ‘old lag’ with the Rebif, but they’d been prescribing it since 1997!

It may not be easy to walk back into the NHS again - but if you still have an NHS card, you may be okay. I really hope that it will be as easy for you. There is no longer DMD rationing. You need to get your GP to refer you to a neuro as soon as possible, so that the treatment can be continued.

I did have a lot of sleepless nights worrying that I wouldn’t be allowed to carry on with Rebif - especially as we were returning jobless and with a very small redundancy payment.

Do let us know what happens? Fingers crossed for you.

best wishes,