Medicare for Multiple Sclerosis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Sample letter to your congressperson
To find out who your Congressman is, go to the following Write Your Representative - Contact your Congressperson in the U.S. House of Re or key in www.house.gov/writerep/, by supplying your 9 digit zip code (it also shows you how to get the last 4 digits if you don't know), you will get your U.S. Representative information. Remember you have to key that into the letter.
City, State and Zip Code
Honorable (First Name, Last Name)
States House of Representatives
Honorable (First Name, Last Name),
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one of the most widespread diseases
impacting the human nervous system. MS triggers symptoms including
temporary or permanent vision loss, paralysis, cognitive dysfunction and motor
difficulties when plaques cause scars in the brain or spinal cord. In
actuality, the body's immune system “ instead of defending your health “
actually attacks you. This disease, while indiscriminate, most often
strikes women and people from northern regions of the country. This disease
can truly be devastating.
Although there is no cure, in the past ten years we have made great
strides with four new disease modifying therapies.
These drugs have made a tremendous difference in the lives of my
I am writing this letter today to ask you to support the Greenwood
(R-PA)/Waxman (D-CA) bill, that would grant equitable Medicare coverage of the
four MS therapies. This bill
would ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to all four FDA-approved
injected products found to slow the progression of MS or reduce the relapse
rate among patients. It would
also provide coverage to all Medicare beneficiaries who have MS, regardless of
the setting in which their treatments are administered.
patients need and deserve the full range of treatment choices currently
Any one of the four FDA-approved treatments for
relapsing, remitting multiple sclerosis may prove to be the “optimal”
treatment for a patient throughout the course of his or her disease.
The current policy poses an access barrier for those patients who do
not respond well to, or cannot tolerate, the covered MS therapy.
addition, patients react differently to different medications, which is why
patients must have access to the treatment that is therapeutically best for
them. The current situation has the potential of encouraging physicians and
patients to choose the treatment that is covered,
rather than the treatment that is best
for the patient. Fairness and
equity for MS patients on Medicare dictate that they should have access to the
full range of treatment options currently available.
All the injected MS therapies are relatively close in price so the net
cost to the government will be relatively low, less
than $1 billion? over ten years.
Furthermore, the benefit will far exceed the cost, as people with MS
will have access to all disease modifying therapies that often slow the
debilitating course of the disease.
MS patients who are disabled would bear an additional hardship and expense in
getting to a doctor’s office for an injection when many can just as easily
get the injection at home. Given
the dosage schedule of the MS therapies, it is reasonable to allow
self-administration in any setting. Such
an option could also save the Medicare program some costs by not incurring
expenses associated with a physician’s office visit.
order for the patients we represent to achieve maximum wellness, to avoid
long-term care and hospitalization and to be able to work and live as a
productive citizen, access to the best medicines through the Medicare program
is imperative. Excluding these
new disease-modifying medicines will most definitely hinder this access.
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