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3 programs to reduce the cost of multiple sclerosis drugs

3 programs to reduce the cost of multiple sclerosis drugs

For those who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS), perhaps the only thing more shocking than receiving their diagnosis is learning how much the disease modifying multiple sclerosis drugs (DMDs) used to control it will cost. Patient demand, research and development costs, and competition all affect the pricing of these life-altering medications used to treat or reduce symptoms. The disease modifying agent could cost upwards of 62,000 per year.

MS is a chronic, progressive, and often debilitating autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. More than 400,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with MS, while worldwide that number is in excess of 2.1 million.


3 prescription assistance programs to reduce cost of multiple sclerosis drugs costs

Here are 3 Prescription Assistance Programs that could help you or a family member sugferring MS to cover the cost of multiple sclerosis drugs and medications.

1.Tecfidera

Tecfidera® is an oral therapy contained in capsules taken two times per day. Tecfidera, formerly known as BG-12, is dimethyl fumarate, a formulation that was developed specifically for use by people with multiple sclerosis. A chemically related compound, called Fumaderm (dimethyl fumarate and fumaric acid esters), has been used at higher doses for decades in Germany to treat acute flare-ups of psoriasis. Although its exact mechanism of action is not known, Tecfidera is thought to inhibit immune cells and molecules, and may have anti-oxidant properties that could be protective against damage to the brain and spinal cord.

Tecfidera® (U.S.) (teck-fi-DARE-ah) capsule/$5139.01/month/walmart

Company: Biogen-Idec

Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent

MS Active Source, www.msactivesource.com or call 1-800-456-2255 2

Benefit investigation to clarify your coverage options.

Insurance counseling to help understand your coverage, along with help navigating changes due to the new healthcare reform law.

$0 Copay Program with no income requirements and no enrollment time limit for eligible patients.

Infusion Copay Assistance program for eligible patients.

Free Drug Program for eligible patients in need.

Support finding assistance through charitable organizations.


2. Gilenya

Gilenya™ is a new class of multiple sclerosis drugs called a sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator, which is thought to act by retaining certain white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the lymph nodes, thereby preventing those cells from crossing the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system (CNS). Preventing the entry of these cells into the CNS reduces inflammatory damage to nerve cells.

Gilenya (U.S.) capsule/$5372.18/month/walmart

Company: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent

Patient Assistance NOW, www.patientassistancenow.com or call 1-800-245-5356 2

Support for uninsured patients

Support for patients with insurance

Co-Pay Assistance through independent charitable foundations


3. Copaxone

Glatiramer acetate is a synthetic protein that simulates myelin basic protein, a component of the myelin that insulates nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. This multiple sclerosis drug seems to block myelin-damaging T-cells through a mechanism that is not completely understood. In controlled clinical trials with relapsing-remitting MS, those taking the glatiramer acetate had a significant reduction in annual relapse rate and a reduction in new lesions as shown on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), when compared to control subjects who were given a placebo.

Copaxone (U.S. and Canada) injection $5507.32/month/walmart

Company: Teva Neuroscience

Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent

Shared Solutions, copaxone.com/AboutSharedSolutions.aspx or call 1-800-887-8100 2

Insurance and benefits investigation, to see if your plan covers Copaxone.

Pharmacy benefits research, to help determine the most convenient way for you to receive Copaxone.

Co-pay assistance if you have commercial insurance but need additional support.

Assistance with understanding your insurance benefits and any changes that can affect your coverage.

Assistance with navigating Medicare Part D.

Assistance for qualified uninsured or underinsured individuals.


References:

1. WebMD.com: http://www.webmd.com/”>

2. National M Society: http://www.nationalmssociety.org

3. Healthline: http://www.healthline.com/