by Pam Ball
(Los Angeles, CA)
- What can happen?
I was officially diagnosed with MS when I was 47. I started Avonex one year later. I have been taking it regularly ever since. I have a mild form of relapsing-remitting MS.
Only two exacerbations in 18 years. None recently. I am turning 65. My new health plan will be charging me over $800/mo for Avonex. Being on a fixed income and only working part-time, obviously cannot afford it. No help from the State of CA as I am not broke enough!? So will stop taking it.
Question: Has anyone in my age range stopped taking it and has done OK?
I don't have MS and haven't heard of your specific situation before, but I have heard of MSers whose MS has leveled out by the time they reach your age. This is whether or not they are taking medication or not.
Alternately, if you are not comfortable discontinuing all multiple sclerosis medicines, try contacting the company's financial department. They can sometimes help when patients can no longer afford their medicine.
Here is the page with information on their financial assistance services - (this will open in a new window).
I'd also be interested to know if any others are in a similar situation or were and what happened. If this has happened to you, please be sure and leave a comment.
Another suggestion - there are several alternative multiple sclerosis treatments that have proven successful for MSers. One that my husband takes is LDN (low-dose-naltrexone).
You need a doctors prescription and it can only be filled at a compounding pharmacy, but it's very inexpensive. (At least when compared to your present medicine costs.)
It is currently being studied for people with this condition, so eventually it may be covered by your insurance. In the meanwhile, it only costs a little over $30 dollars a month.
Some have had difficulty getting the prescription from their doctors, but this has gotten a little better since the studies. There are a few places online where you can get the medicine as well.
If you haven't researched this option before, here are a couple websites. (They will all open in a new window.)
LDN and MS
Hope this helps,