Barriers to accessing DMTs Barrier present in country of interest? World Bank category Lower middle income WHO region Western Pacific Global results
% of countries reporting each barrier
Lack of awareness of DMTs amongst healthcare professionals data not known 30% 22% 27%
Healthcare professionals not readily available data not known 39% 44% 30%
Equipment or tests to monitor treatments not available data not known 57% 33% 27%
Too expensive for the government, healthcare/insurance provider data not known 74% 67% 49%
People with MS do not take DMTs due to costs, side-effects or preference for other treatments or lifestyle measures data not known 52% 56% 39%
DMTs only available in some areas of the country or certain hospitals data not known 48% 44% 27%
DMTs frequently go out of stock or supply is irregular data not known 26% 22% 8%
DMTs not supplied to the country data not known 35% 33% 18%
Complete range of DMTs not available data not known 52% 44% 30%
Bureaucracy, inefficiency or complexity in health system data not known 22% 22% 25%
Other data not known 4% 11% 5%
Not sure data not known 0% 0% 2%
No major barriers data not known 4% 11% 26%

Please note - full data set provides additional detail on the barriers relating to healthcare professionals, equipment/tests and people with MS

What is the Atlas of MS?

The Atlas of MS is the most comprehensive worldwide study of the epidemiology of MS and the global availability and accessibility of resources for people with MS.

2020-22 worldwide study

The data shows that the number of people with MS across the globe has increased from 2.3 million in 2013 to 2.8 million in 2020 and 2.9 in 2023. It highlights the many barriers and inequalities that people with MS face in accessing diagnosis, treatment and care. Download the reports to see the full findings and recommendations or download the full dataset if you would like to conduct your own analysis comparing multiple countries.

Powerful tool for change

The information in the Atlas of MS can be a powerful advocacy tool, shining a spotlight on MS and raising awareness of the lack of adequate resources available to diagnose, inform, treat, rehabilitate and support people with MS worldwide.

With thanks to…

Worldwide collaboration

The Atlas of MS relies on data supplied by MS organisations from around the world. We are most grateful to the country coordinators and their colleagues for taking the time and effort to gather the information and data.

See contributor list

This 3rd edition of the Atlas of MS shines a spotlight on the barriers to accessing diagnosis and disease modifying therapies around the world. These issues are particularly evident in low and middle income countries but high income countries are not exempt. This report highlights the need for major policy changes to ensure early diagnosis and improved access to a range of treatments, to guarantee the best possible outcomes for people with MS. Information from the Atlas of MS should be used to guide policy-makers, health planners and specialists, in order to close the gaps in care, decrease inequities globally and provide a better future for people with MS and their families.

Professor Mai Sharawy
Professor of Neuro-Ophthalmology at Cairo University – Egypt.
Founder of MS Care and Chair of MSIF Board