Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66Over the years, this publication has presented a vast array of informative articles that provide constructive ideas and shared perspectives regarding life with MS. However, as many of you have attested, there are also external factors in play that serve as obstacles along the road to coping with this chronic disease. Among these, limitations affecting access to some of the approved MS medications,or to the best-qualified medical professionals, rank high on the chart. When the MSF was founded back in 1986, the U.S. population was 240 million. Today, the population has surpassed the 320 million mark.This not only represents a substantial increase in the general population,but also indicates proportionally greater numbers of persons affected by MS.The average age of the U.S. population is also increasing as people are living longer. This presents a perplexing question: How can we be assured there will be sufficient numbers of qualified physicians to treat such a large and growing group? Sadly, we cannot. Despite the increase in neurologists through the years, those numbers have not kept pace with the needs of the overall population and it does not appear it will be getting better any time soon. Thus, greater patient loads per physician and, for many, longer wait times between office visits are likely to become the norm. Whether we wish to admit it or not, lower physician reimbursement plays a role in discouraging some from practicing neurology, thus contributing to their focus on other specialties. The same can be said of attempts to restrict physicians from making – in their professional opinion – the most appropriate treatment recommendation for their patients. There is no easy solution to this dilemma. However, the MSF’s role as a leading patient advocacy organization compels us to take a stand on these issues. We oppose initiatives that restrict, either directly or indirectly, access to all approved MS medications, or that could diminish the quality of care available to those with MS. We vocally support those initiatives that improve the quality of treatment available and the ease of accessing such treatment. What’s your take on this? Share your thoughts with us at editor@msfocus.org. Special note: This September, as part of our 30th anniversary, the MSF will be rolling out the most significant rebranding initiative in our history. The same dedication and resourcefulness you have come to expect from us will be combined with a totally new look to our publications and website. Jules Kuperberg Alan R. Segaloff Co-Executive Director Co-Executive Director It’s Not Just MS It’s Not Just MS MSFocus Summer 2016 4