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Multiple Sclerosis Activists Play Key Role in Passage of Meaningful Prescription Drug and Health Insurance Legislation

August 12, 2022

On August 12, the U.S. House voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, following the U.S. Senate’s passage of the legislation, which includes meaningful provisions to lower the cost of prescription drugs and health insurance. The bill now moves to the President’s desk where it is expected to be signed into law. 

“This important milestone in legislation would not have happened without those affected by MS using their voices to create change,” said Cyndi Zagieboylo, President and CEO of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “People with MS have long told us they struggle to afford their life changing MS medications, and together we have worked tirelessly to find solutions to the high cost of MS medications.” The current median annual price of a brand MS disease-modifying therapy (DMT) is nearly $94,000, with prices continuing to rise since 1997. 

MS Activists working with the National MS Society played a critical role in the passage of these provisions. Together, MS Activists held more than 2,000 legislative meetings since 2016, sent over 10,000 emails to Capitol Hill, shared hundreds of videos and tweets, and shared personal stories through OpEds, articles, testimony and commercials. 

Judy Wilson, an MS Activist who lives with MS in Arizona recently shared with reporters, “When I went on Medicare, I could not afford the over $7,000 a year for my MS DMT and had to stop my medication. My decision was based on money, not medicine. The proposals will help me tremendously. These policies will immediately improve my quality of life and my health.”

The following drug pricing provisions that will benefit people with MS and others on prescription medications include:  
  • Bringing down what people pay for their medications: Implementing a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap on drug costs in Medicare Part D and a “smoothing mechanism” so that people in Medicare can spread their costs evenly over the course of the year. 
  • Curbing drug price increases: Limiting Medicare drug price increases by enacting rebates if prices rise faster than inflation. 
  • Negotiating prices to bring down cost: Allowing Medicare to negotiate prices for a select number of drugs that have been on the market for a long time.
  • Bringing down the cost of insurance: Allowing an extension of previously-passed tax credits to help make coverage more affordable for those who purchase coverage via the Exchanges.
Learn more about the implementation timeline and impact this law will have on people living with MS or watch this video with drug pricing and health policy expect Dr. Stacie Dusetzina. 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.

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© 2022 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.