Jamie Baillie said we should support research funding for multiple sclerosis

August 18, 2010

As Nova Scotia’s next Conservative party leader, Jamie Baillie says he supports provincial funding of research into liberation treatment for people suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Baillie said Tuesday that Nova Scotia should join other provinces in funding the research together.

“We should join in with them,” he said. “I would do that instantly. We don’t need to have 10 provinces doing independent and separate research projects on this.”

Baillie said he has seen the “immense benefits” of liberation treatment for his friend Shirley MacLeod, wife of Cape Breton West Tory Alfie MacLeod.

“I know she is not the only Cape Bretoner to have had a positive outcome from that treatment,” he said in an interview from his Halifax office. “The treatment has too much promise for the government to not act.”

Liberation treatment is based on a theory that narrowed neck veins cause blood-borne iron deposits to build up and damage brain cells, and that unblocking the veins will help people with MS.

The treatment involves angioplasty to ease what is referred to as chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency.

Baillie said he also supports spending government dollars to provide coverage for use of the drug Lucentis, which is used to treat people suffering from age-related macular degeneration. Nova Scotia is the only province that doesn’t cover the drug, he said.

Baillie, the CEO of Credit Union Atlantic and a longtime Tory party insider, effectively became the party’s next leader Monday when he was the only person to submit nomination papers by the 5 p.m. deadline.

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