- Join the MS Activist Network to prepare for future outreach to elected officials.
- Share the 4 videos featuring MS activists boldly sharing their experience accessing MS medications with your social networks - and share your own story.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper — approximately 150 to 200 words in length. Check with your local paper for specific guidelines and submission instructions. Sample letter:
Medications are developed to help people feel better — but to be helpful, they need to be accessible. The price of treatments, and cost-sharing and approval processes should be affordable and transparent. <Describe your local and personal connection to MS>. Visit nationalMSsociety.org/accessmeds for more information.
- Ocrevus Pricing: Not only did we have a role in funding the early work and early careers of some who brought Ocrevus to market, the Society also had a role in Genentech’s decision to price Ocrevus at nearly 20% below the average price of the MS disease modifying therapies. The company cited our Make Medications Accessible recommendations as part of their consideration in determining the price
- Sanofi Genzyme Pricing Principles: Sanofi Genzyme has pricing principles which include: providing a clear rationale for the price when a product is launched; limiting annual price increases to a level at or below medical inflation (5.4% in 2017); and providing greater transparency of pricing practices including average list price and average net price.
Federal and State Legislative Activity
There is no single solution that can fully reverse the trend of increasing DMT cost and payer policies that have can delay access to medically necessary therapies. The Society’s recommendations
form the basis of our support for any state or federal legislation that seeks to address the high cost of prescription drugs or improving access to medical therapies.
- The President signed the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act of 2019 into law on December 20, 2019. This law makes it easier for generic drug companies to obtain samples of brand-named products needed to create generics.
- There have been many bills introduced in the 116th Congress that seek to lower the cost of and improve access to prescription drugs. The Society has supported proposals that would:
- allow for the federal government to negotiate the prices of some high cost MS medications.
- require drug manufacturers to pay rebates if they raise prices for medications above the inflation rate
- establish an out-of-pocket cap in Medicare Part D and allow for smoothing out-of-pocket costs throughout the year
- require manufacturers to justify significant price increases, above 10 percent annually or 25 percent over 36 months.
- create separate tiers for specialty generic medications.
- expediate the approval of generic drugs and biosimilars and preventing gaming the use of patents or other methods to delay generic competition to the market.
- We continue to have productive conversations with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on a hearing/investigation into price increases.
- In 2019, the Society supported 68 different pieces of state legislation addressing affordability and access to MS medications, 24 became law.
- In 2018, the Society supported 56 different pieces of state legislation addressing affordability and access to MS medications, 15 became law.
- In 2017, the Society is supporting legislation to add consumer protections to step therapy in 11 states. It has become law in West Virginia and we anticipate it becoming law in a couple of other states. 5 step therapy bills we supported in 2016 became law.
- We’re also supporting legislation for patient protections in “non-medical switching” or continuity of care.