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NEWS RELEASE · 24th August 2010
BC NDP Caucus
With the majority of Canadian provinces already on board with advancing clinical trials of “liberation therapy” for multiple sclerosis patients, it’s time for British Columbia to stand up and be counted, say the New Democrats.

“B.C.’s voice needs to be heard in this discussion. It’s time to join other provinces in calling on the federal government to begin a truly national effort,” said Adrian Dix, New Democrat health critic. “The B.C. Liberal health minister needs to add his voice to the conversation and show that British Columbia is on board.”

Today, New Brunswick added its voice to the debate, saying the province “would be interested in participating in any process on this issue led by the federal government and Health Canada.” Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec have also responded to Manitoba’s call for a federally run clinical trial. Saskatchewan has committed to fund its own trials provincially, and Yukon has voiced support as well.

“Canada can step up and be an international leader on MS treatment. With the provinces and the federal government on board, we can dramatically speed up the process of running trials to find out if liberation therapy is a viable treatment for multiple sclerosis,” said Dix, noting that while it may not be a cure, the treatment could offer a better life to many people suffering with MS.

“Liberation therapy” was developed by Dr. Paolo Zamboni to treat chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI), a condition in which the venous system is not able to efficiently remove blood from the central nervous system; Dr. Zamboni believes this is associated with MS.

According to the MS Society, approximately 8,000 British Columbians and 75,000 Canadians suffer from multiple sclerosis, with about 1,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

The Carole James New Democrats are working with British Columbians from all walks of life and all sectors of our economy to build a better B.C. for the people of this province.