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Medicare for Multiple Sclerosis                             

                   

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

How do I tell it my Congressperson ?

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.

 Your Street Address

Your City, State and Zip Code

Reference: Greenwood/Waxman Bill

The Honorable (First Name, Last Name)

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

   The 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 patients.

  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.

MS patients need and deserve the full range of treatment choices currently available.  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.

 In 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. 

  Last, 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.

 In 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.

Respectfully,

Name

For More Information Contact:

Medicare for Multiple Sclerosis

FAX: 503-217-6643
Internet: info@medicare4ms.com

                                        

Send mail to info@medicare4ms.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: May 16, 2003