– Life Sciences- Biotechnology Novartis to Get Expedited FDA Review of Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Drug

Phase 3 data shows siponimod has beneficial effects on disability, relapses and MRI disease activities for patients with SPMS ~


This is good news if you have Secondary Progressive MS. I believe this would be the first medication approved for that type of MS. Research is paying off.

Price of specialty drugs spikes in Michigan | Bridge Magazine

A nurse by trade, Denice Raymond is well schooled on the price that multiple sclerosis exacts on the body. As an MS patient, she can also testify to the challenges of paying for drugs that might help her walk.

Raymond is prescribed a drug that retails for about $60,000 a year – and while mostly covered by Medicare – that still left her with annual out-of-pocket costs of about $6,000. Raymond, a resident of Calhoun County east of Battle Creek, was grateful to find a nonprofit organization that agreed to pay the rest.

A few months ago, her doctor suggested she take another to drug to improve her gait. Diagnosed with MS in 2002, Raymond gets around primarily by walker or wheelchair. But the new drug would have cost her several thousand dollars more a year: It was a deal-breaker.

“There is no way we could afford that. It was either buy groceries or make an attempt to walk,” Raymond said.

High cost of treating MS

The cost of MS drugs at introduction and cost today. The first of these drugs was introduced in 1993. Their date of introduction, cost then, and cost now.

  • Betaseron: 1993 $11,532, Now $82,884
  • Avonex: 1996 $8,723, Now $79,911
  • Copaxone: 1997 $8,292, Now $84,707
  • Rebif: 2002 $15,262, Now $82,153
  • Tysabri: 2004 $25,850, Now $75,792
  • Extavia: 2009 $32,826, Now $71,216
  • Gilenya: 2010 $50,775, Now $86,637
  • Aubagio: 2012 $47,651, Now $78,546

Source: National Multiple Sclerosis Society

via Price of specialty drugs spikes in Michigan | Bridge Magazine

This isn’t just a Michigan problem it’s a national problem and I blogged about it when a Congressional investigation was announced in August.


I don’t believe that this involves just Multiple Sclerosis drugs.

Understanding how omega-3 dampens inflammatory reactions | EurekAlert! Science News

Supplements beneficial

Autophagy thus changes in macrophages in response to omega-3 fatty acids and specifically inhibits the secretion of inflammatory factors that belong to the interferon response, with CXCL-10 showing the clearest reduction. The results of this study are being published in the journal Autophagy.

These findings indicate that omega-3 fatty acid supplements may be particularly beneficial in patients who have conditions that are driven or aggravated by a strong interferon response and CXCL-10.

Our research group hopes that this one day will benefit patients with different forms of cancer, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or jaundice. But we must emphasize that a lot of work remains.

via Understanding how omega-3 dampens inflammatory reactions | EurekAlert! Science News

The information presented here is compelling but I’m still not convinced that a supplement is the best way to go. I’ve tried fish oil supplements in the past and didn’t see any benefit.

On the other hand I found that by eating fish and shrimp my multiple sclerosis symptoms seem to improve. I also see an improvement with the new style eggs that have omega 3.

I think I’ll stick with the diet I do that includes clams, cod, herring, muscles, salmon, shrimp, and tuna. Of course I don’t know how much omega-3 it has but I’ll also continue eating fried catfish and okra.

Deep Brain Stimulation May Treat Multiple Sclerosis Tremors After All

Anywhere from one-quarter to one-half of individuals with multiple sclerosis develop tremors, like those common in Parkinson’s disease, but multiple sclerosis tremors are typically specific to the arms. Multiple sclerosis tremors are incredibly detrimental to the quality of life, as they are often drug-resistant and completely disabling (approximately 10% of multiple sclerosis patients become incapacitated by tremor).

via Deep Brain Stimulation May Treat Multiple Sclerosis Tremors After All – Medical News Bulletin

This is good news for me I fight tremors on a daily basis myself. According to the National MS Society this is a very common problem that people have with multiple sclerosis. This is one of the most difficult symptoms to treat according to doctors. Parkinson’s disease drugs don’t work generally according to many doctors treating multiple sclerosis caused type of tremors.