As an MS patient, my cost of disease modifying therapies ranges from $2,500 to $15,000 per month. As someone on a fixed retirement income (which started at the age of 42 years old due to my disability) combined with other living expenses, this is an unreachable hurdle.
I was diagnosed with MS in 1999 and was originally told I would progress into nursing care within six months of diagnosis. In the decades since, I have taken a disease modifying drug the entire time and am thrilled it has been effective. I am so thankful my medication has preserved my independence this long. I also understand that so many other MS patients do not receive treatment due to its high price, and I am privileged to be someone whose costs are affordable now.
I’ve personally seen the monthly out-of-pocket cost of drugs used to treat MS increase and though drug companies have some programs to financially help those patients who cannot afford their medication, the portion of the price Medicare patients like me have to cover themselves still results in over $500 a month for many patients in need. Because of this, I have also received assistance from AARP Supplemental to lessen the burden of these high price treatments.
In a surprising rant about the cost of prescription drugs while at my neurologist appointment, they also suggested for me to use GoodRx. Using this program has since lowered my monthly costs to about $90 for my 30-day prescription that used to cost a few hundred dollars, all for a generic alternative with the same efficacy.
I know my story is sadly not unique among MS patients. Too many of us worry every month about the high cost of our drugs. That’s why we need leaders who will continue fighting for lower drug prices for patients like me.