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Affordability of and Access to MS Medications

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What We Are Trying to Accomplish

Medications can only change lives if people can access them. Medications — and the process for getting them — must be affordable, simple and transparent. 

Leadership from all stakeholders involved — pharmaceutical companies, insurance providers, pharmacy benefit managers, specialty pharmacies, healthcare providers, policy makers, people with MS and others — must work together to ensure that people with MS have access to the medications they need to live their best lives.

Why It’s Important

Studies show that early and ongoing treatment with a disease-modifying therapy is the best way to modify the course of the disease, prevent accumulation of disability and protect the brain from damage due to MS.

MS medications have transformed the outlook for MS over the last 20 years, yet many people living with MS cannot access the medications they need. 

Continually escalating prices have created a significant barrier to treatment, forcing higher costs and increased stress for individuals and families, causing a greater burden for people who already live with a life-altering condition. The annual median price for MS DMTs has increased nearly $34,000 in less than 10 years. As of February 2022, the median annual price of the brand MS DMTs is close to $94,000. Six of the MS DMTs, all on market since 2009 or earlier, have increased in price more than 200% and nine DMTs are now priced at over $100,000. Changing insurance coverage also adversely affects access to treatment for people with MS. For instance, the practice of “step therapy” is growing—which forces people to take medication that doesn’t work for them before they can “step up” to a treatment that might work.

Happening at the National Level

The Society urges Congress to pass the following slate of legislation to help make medications more affordable and the process for getting them simple and transparent:
  • Fair Accountability and Innovative Research (FAIR) Drug Pricing Act 
  • Restoring the Patient’s Voice Act 
  • Creating Transparency to Have Drug Rebates Unlocked (C-THRU) Act

Take Action Now

Urge your elected officials to pass legislation to lower high drug prices and out-of-pocket costs.


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© 2024 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.