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Contributors Both TD and LK contributed in drafting the manuscript.
Competing interests TD serves on scientific advisory boards for Novartis Pharma, Merck Serono, Biogen Idec, Genzyme, Mitsubishi Pharma and Bayer Schering Pharma. He has received funding for travel and/or speaker honoraria from Biogen Idec, Novartis, Merck Serono, and Bayer Schering Pharma; and receives research support from Novartis Pharma, Merck Serono, the German Research Foundation, the European Union and the Swiss MS Society. LK has participated in the last 24 months as principal investigator, member or chair of planning and steering committees or advisory boards in corporate-sponsored clinical trials in multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases. The sponsoring pharmaceutical companies for these trials include Actelion, Advancell, Allozyne, BaroFold, Bayer Health Care Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Schering Pharma, Bayhill, Biogen Idec, Biotica, CLC Behring, Elan, Genmab, GeNeuro SA, Genmark, GlaxoSmithKline, Genzyme, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Merck Serono, Novartis, Novonordisk, Octapharma, Peptimmune, Roche, sanofi-aventis, Santhera, Teva, UCB, Xenoport and Wyeth. L. Kappos also lectured at medical conferences or in public on various aspects of the diagnosis and management of multiple sclerosis. In many cases, these talks have been sponsored by non-restricted educational grants to his institution from one or the other above-listed companies. Honoraria and other payments for all these activities have been exclusively used for funding of research of his department. Research and the clinical operations (nursing and patient care services) of the MS Center in Basel have been supported by non-restricted grants from one or more of these companies and by grants from the Swiss MS Society, the Swiss National Research Foundation, the European Union, the Gianni Rubatto, Novartis and Roche Research Foundations.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.