Cost to Control MS Progression Skyrocketing, Study Indicates

The study found that despite an increase in the armamentarium of drugs to treat multiple sclerosis, the cost of the drugs has skyrocketed and not dropped.

A new study shows an "alarming rise" over the last 20 years in the costs of drugs used to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis or reduce the frequency of attacks, according to a study led by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University.

A substantial increase in the number of MS drugs in the marketplace over the past 20 years, paradoxically, did not lead to lower or stabilized costs for patients who use those drugs. Researchers found the costs of all drugs used to treat MS

including first-generation therapies

skyrocketed. Their work is published in the May 26, 2015, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The costs of MS drugs accelerated at rates 5 to 7 times higher than prescription drug inflation and substantially higher than rates for drugs in a similar class between 1993 and 2013, the researchers report. Drug costs for several MS agents rose on average 20 to 30% per year over this time period.

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