Drugs used to slow down multiple sclerosis may help patients but are unreasonably expensive, said a study Wednesday. The medications, disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) have been on the market since the 1990s and include beta interferons, glatiramer, and natalizumab. These drugs are used to prevent flare-ups and disable long-term disability.
The drugs cost more than $3,000 per month each.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, said that people who use the medication for ten years get only small benefit, two extra months or less of good health over ten years.
DMDs cost sufferers almost $1 million for each year of a relatively healthy life with ten years of consistent use, the study went on to say.
Katia Noyes, researcher at the University of Rochester in New York Katia Noyes, who led the study, said in an interview, This study was not designed to try to deprive people with MS of any therapy.
MS attacks nerve fibers throughout the body and causes symptoms like muscle weakness, numbness, vision problems and difficulty with coordination and balance. Symptoms wax and wane and there are periods of remission. The end result is often physical disability.
Researchers also said that there seems to be some benefit in starting treatment earlier in the disease's progression.