Addressing Multiple Sclerosis in Communities of Color
Martin M.S. Alliance Foundation
The Treatments & Medications listed on this page are made to help delay M.S. Progression (not the corresponding symptoms & episodes)
o Tysabri - http://www.tysabri.com - On June 5, 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a Supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for the reintroduction of TYSABRI® (natalizumab) as immunotherapy treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
The safety and efficacy of TYSABRI® beyond two years are unknown. Because TYSABRI® increases the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), an opportunistic viral infection of the brain that usually leads to death or severe disability.
Tysabri is the first humanized monoclonal antibody approved for the treatment of MS. When the drug is administered, the cells that cause inflammation and damage nerve fibers and their insulation (myelin) are prevented from migrating from the bloodstream into the brain.
Tysabri costs approximately $11,500.00 for each dose. When given every four weeks the annual total for this treatment is approximately $138,500.00 per year. Insurance companies have not yet publicly announced whether or not they will be covering the cost of the medication. This is only the cost for the actual medication; there is an additional cost for the office/hospital time and IV application.
o Avonex – www.Avonex.com – is designed to strengthen the immune system to protect the brain and spinal cord from further damage. The interferon drug closely resembles the body's own natural interferon which is produced by the immune system to defend against infection and disease. It is injected once a week directly into the muscle of the thigh, upper arm, or hip. The base cost of the drug is $26,000 per year, $2,187.00 per month.
o Rebif - http://www.rebif.com - is a medication manufactured from one of the naturally made up amino acids found in the human body to protect the body from further damage is injected three times a week subcutaneously (between the fat layer just under the skin and the muscles beneath) The base cost of the drug is $20,000.00 per year, $1,666.00 per month
o Betaseron – www.Betaseron.com – is designed to strengthen the immune system to protect the brain and spinal cord from further damage. The interferon drug closely resembles the body's own natural interferon which is produced by the immune system to defend against infection and disease and is injected subcutaneously every other day. The base cost of the drug is $23,000 per year, $1,900.00 per month.
o Copaxone – www.copaxone.com - is a synthetic protein that simulates myelin basic protein, a component of the myelin that insulates nerve fibers injected subcutaneously once a day The base cost of the drug is $17,000 per year and per month $1,400.00
o Novantrone - http://www.novantrone.com - belongs to the general group of medicines called antineoplastics acts in MS by suppressing the activity of T cells, B cells, and macrophages that are thought to lead the attack on the myelin sheath.
Administered by short IV infusion once every three months for 24 months, the lifetime cumulative dose is limited to approximately 8-12 doses over two to three years because of possible cardiac toxicity. The base cost of the drug is $53,000 per year, per month $4,400.00
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