Medicare Coverage of
Multiple Sclerosis Treatments
People with relapsing-remitting MS now have a choice among three drugs - Betaseron, Avonex and Copaxone - all of which have a proven effect on the natural course of Multiple Sclerosis.
Currently, Medicare does not cover prescription drugs like these that are generally taken on an out-patient basis. Consequently, many people who are on Medicare cannot afford these essential medications. Representative Jim Greenwood (R-PA) introduced “The Medicare Coverage for MS Act,” H.R. 1329 to provide Medicare coverage for interferon therapies. A similar bill “The Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Act of 1997,” H.R. 1018 introduced by Representative John LaFalce (D-NY) covers all biotechnology therapies.
Multiple Sclerosis is a devastating, degenerative disease of the Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord). MS affects several hundred thousand Americans, usually just when they are beginning their careers and families. The insulation, called myelin, surrounding the nerves is damaged or destroyed. When this occurs, messages from the brain are lost or interrupted. Eventually, without treatment, total disability can occur. Since 1993, the FDA has approved three new therapies for the disease. These drugs have the potential of keeping people with MS healthier, more independent, more productive, and allowing some to retain or return to employment.
I ask that you write your U.S. Representative(s) and urge him/her to co-sponsor these bills, H.R. 1329 and H.R. 1018, which provide Medicare coverage for all the new breakthrough therapies that actually improve the disease course of Multiple Sclerosis.
Not sure who your Representative is?