Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic and often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. There are approximately 400,000 people living with the disease currently in the United States. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “Multiple Sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. The exact antigen — or target that the immune cells are sensitized to attack — remains unknown, which is why MS is considered by many experts to be ‘immune-mediated’ rather than ‘autoimmune.’”
Each person experiences MS differently, with unpredictable symptoms and severity of symptoms. “No two people have exactly the same symptoms, and each person’s symptoms can change or fluctuate over time. One person might experience only one or two of the possible symptoms while another person experiences many more.” Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, walking difficulties, numbness, spasticity, dizziness, vertigo, vision problems, emotional changes, bowel and bladder problems, and chronic pain.
We list a variety of programs for Multiple Sclerosis on the NeedyMeds site. The first place to check are our Patient Assistance Program (PAP) listings. PAPs are programs offered by pharmaceutical companies offering their medications at low or no cost to patients who qualify. The qualifications are different for each program, so we recommend contacting each individual program directly. You can find a list of all the drugs for MS on our Disease Information Pages. The list shows the drugs in blue as available through PAPs, while an asterisk indicates there is currently no program available. These listings change frequently, however, so make sure to check this page regularly for new listings.
We also list a number of state and federal programs for Multiple Sclerosis. These programs help with a variety of expenses, from medications and treatment to service animals and assistive technology. Like the PAPs mentioned above, each program is different so we recommend contacting each directly. We currently have 141 programs listed for MS. You can find that list here. There are also five summer camps available for children with Multiple Sclerosis, and one national program to help MS patients afford a college education.