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M.S. FAQ's

Martin M.S. Alliance Foundation

Addressing Multiple Sclerosis in Communities of Color

o Is Multiple Sclerosis Fatal, Contagious, or Hereditary?

M.S. is not considered contagious or a directly inherited disease, although there may be a familial predisposition regarding M.S.

o  The Wheelchair Question Do people with M.S. end up in a Wheelchair?

Approximately 25% of people with MS will need a wheelchair.  Approximately 55% will need some sort of assisting devices

o Does M.S. go into Remission?

NO.

A person with M.S. can return to the baseline that existed before the last exacerbation. 

o Does the Course of M.S. Change Over Time?


Yes.

Most people are diagnosed with the relapsing-remitting form of MS.

However, over time some people in this category develop secondary-progressive MS, which carries a higher risk of disability.

Others may have mild attacks but do not worsen and are considered to have benign MS.
 
o Who should take M.S. drugs?

The M.S. Society’s Medical Advisory Board and the Martin M.S. Alliance Fnd.advises anyone with a diagnosis of M.S. consider one of the five disease modifying drugs.

Individuals should stay on the drug indefinitely unless there are intolerable side effects, a clear lack of benefit, new data revealing other reasons for stopping, or a better therapy becomes available.

o Why M.S. medication is so expensive?

M.S. Medications are manufactured by a biotechnological process from one of the naturally occurring interferons (a type of protein) from the human body. 

This is a very timely and expensive process Drug companies invested in years of development and clinical trials.

They are not philanthropic organizations.

Their primary obligation is to stay in business and make money.

Private insurance companies that sell medical coverage are also obligated first to stay in business.

To control costs, some companies exclude high-end treatments or deny coverage to people with expensive diseases.

Or their "high-risk" enrollees (People living with M.S.) are charged premiums that can range up to $20,400 a year. 

Each of the drug companies runs a program designed to alleviate the burden for some of the people who cannot qualify for Medicaid and are uninsured or under-insured. - (but it is not enough - Kamilah)