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Medication Use in MS Affected by Health Insurance Status

July 27, 2016

Nearly 25 percent of respondents that take DMDs use either free or discounted drug programs in order to pay for their multiple sclerosis treatment, and according to results from a large survey, rising costs and insurance coverage of drugs for MS adversely impacts their access to treatment.

In 2014, Guoqiao Wang, PhD of the University of Alabama Birmingham, and colleagues surveyed participants of the North American Research Committee on MS registry in order to evaluate the impact of the health insurance coverage on DMD use. 6,662 respondents were included in this analysis.

Over 98 percent of respondents had reported having health insurance while just over 22 percent reported having a negative insurance charge in comparison to the year before. Oddly enough, those who had private insurance were more likely to report a negative charge in insurance. Over 6 percent of respondents who weren’t taking DMDs expressed financial/insurance concerns as the sole reason, while those who acquired DMDs through insurance 3.3 of those experienced initial insurance denial with use of DMD, 2.3 percent experienced denial of DMD switches and 1.6 percent needed to skip to split doses because of increase in copay.

Among those with relapsing-remitting MS, the likelihood of not taking DMDs is increased by negative insurance change, using free/discounted drug programs in order to obtain DMDs and facing insurance challenges.