MS Medications and Copay Assistance Programs

Although it has been 20 years since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, there still has not been a cure discovered. When I was diagnosed, there were not many disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) available and the ones that were offered were all injection based. I will never forget the first two I tried because they failed miserably. To be 100% honest, it may not have been the medications that failed, but instead, I was at fault because I found it too difficult to give myself a shot. Of course, injecting yourself with a sharp needle is challenging, but I think that the after-effects were much more miserable.

One can experience side effects with any medication, which I believe is because most medications, no matter how helpful they seem are poison and they require another medication to combat the symptoms. I guess you could say that big pharma knew exactly what they were doing to keep their pockets filled deep and everyone else to be broke.

During the past twenty-plus years, which is more than two decades, there have been many improvements and advancements in the treatment for those living with Multiple Sclerosis. The DMTs are no longer only injection-based and there are now a variety of medications available. Not only are there numerous medications to choose between, but most have copay assistance programs making the medications more affordable. These copay assistance programs are very beneficial, especially, if you lived in the United States where healthcare and medications are outrageously expensive. 

In the rest, of this post, I am going to share the different types of medications available for Multiple Sclerosis and if there are copay assistance programs available. Please be advised and understand that I am not a medical professional, nor am I providing any advice on the best medications to try. The information in the remainder of this post is all information I have discovered through the years and research.

I am going to start with my least favorite type of DMT, which was the only type available when I was diagnosed.

Injected-Based Medications:

Rebif, an Interferon beta medication was the first medication I “tried” after my diagnosis. This medication is taken three times a week and at least 48 hours apart. Rebif is administered subcutaneously, which means you are injecting the medication with a short, thin needle just under the skin. Rebif offers three injection options: the Rebif prefilled syringe (which is what I had), the Rebif II autoinjector, and the Rebif Rebidose Autoinjector. There are two options or dosages, 22 mcg, and 44 mcg. The following link will take you to the website for Rebif’s copay assistance.

Copaxone was one that I did try for a short time. Both myself and my doctor knew it was not working well enough for me as I had already proven I was terrible at giving myself injections. This type is also given three times a week and at least 48 hours apart. It is best to do the injections at the same time and day each week. Copaxone 40mg can be administered with autoinjector 2 in a glass syringe. There is a copay assistance program for this medication, which you can visit at the following link.

Avonex is a once-a-week medication. This is a 30-mcg intramuscular self-infection that is injected into the muscle. Avonex is available in two ways. One way is the Avonex pen which is a single-dose autoinjector. The second way is an Avonex prefilled syringe that allows you to inject your weekly dose. Copay assistance for this medication is available, so if you are interested in this, please see the following link 

Although, oral medications are easier and do not involve needles, not all oral medications will be the most effective treatment for everyone. I am going to share the oral medications that are currently available and if there are copay assistance programs available. 

Oral Medication Options:

Aubagio is a once-a-day medication. Copay assistance programs are available. 

Tecfidera was one that I did try, but it was because I was having issues with increased headaches, and everyone I know (not my doctor) was blaming them on the Gilenya. This medication is taken twice a day with or without food. This medication does have a copay assistance program available to help with the costs. Please see the following link if this is something you are interested in. 

When on Vumerity, during the first week, the patient would take the starter dose of 231 mg as one pill twice a day. After the first week, the patient would begin the regular dose of 462 mg as two pills twice a day. As with all the others I have gone over so far, this medication also has a copay assistance program. 

With Bafiertam, during the first week, the patient could take the starting dosage of 95 mg, which a day. After the initial seven days, the dosage would increase to the normal dose of 190 mg twice a day. Copay assistance for this medication is available, please see the following link to learn more 

Gilenya is the medication that I have been on for many years. The first dose of 0.5 mg needs to be monitored for at least six hours by a healthcare professional. After the first dose, this medication is taken once a day with a daily dosage of 0.25 mg. There is a copay assistance program, which is a lifesaver as this medication is insanely expensive. For a better understanding of the copay assistance that may be offered, please see the following link 

Zeposia is another type of oral medication that I have not heard much about and it surely was not an option when I was diagnosed. This medication is taken once a day as well. There is a copay assistance program available, please see the following link for further information 

Another oral medication that I am not too familiar with, and it was not available when I was diagnosed is Ponvory. This medication is a once-a-day pill, but it does involve a special way to begin the medication. There is copay assistance available for this medication, please see the following link to view more information 

There are numerous other options available to treat Multiple Sclerosis and so many more than I was offered when I was diagnosed. Of course, I do encourage anyone who has been battling with this disease for years or those who have been recently diagnosed to do research on different medications. I am including a link to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, as this website explains the different types of medications available and if there are any assistance programs available. 

I do think it is also good to talk with your specialist because they should be very knowledgeable about the medications that are available. I did share several in this post, but I did not want to make you read about so many medications, when you can read about the types that seem appealing without reading as much as I have already shared. Plus, I do not want to encourage anyone to try any medications because again, I am not a medical professional. The only thing I know is, I have been fighting this disease for over 20 years and I am still waiting for a cure to be available.

Thank you for visiting my site today. Even though I am not making any suggestions on the best medications, I hope the information I shared regarding copay assistance was helpful for you. Considering I have been dealing with these copay assistance programs for a long time, I am happy to help if you should have any questions. I hope you are having a lovely weekend and I am looking forward to reading your comments or questions, which I will respond to as quickly as possible. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa


Let It Go Friday

Finally, it is Friday, and time to be released from the hectic chaos of the workweek! How was your week? I think our workweeks are far too long, and our weekends are WAY too short! How would you feel about a four-day workweek and a three-day weekend? Yes, that might mean the work days are longer, but would it not be worth it to have a long weekend? I would be happy to work 10-hour days if it meant, I could enjoy a long weekend, which would be wonderful! I guess that is easy for me to say because I do work from home, but it is still a struggle to get through the weeks!

As y’all already know, I think Friday is the perfect day to let go of all the stress and negativity the week may have created. There is NO point bringing those feelings into a weekend that is already WAY too short! I hope the quote that I am sharing with you today, helps you to let go and just enjoy the weekend. We all can agree, Monday will be here before we know it, so some things can wait a couple of days! I know it is not easy, but there are some things that we must let go of and be released from. This may be something in our personal life or our professional life, but once we are free from whatever is weighing us down, we will feel much better and FREE! Do you agree that it would be wonderful to feel a heavy weight lifted off our shoulders? I know I think it would be an amazing feeling!

Now that we have finally made it through the week and the weekend is hours away, do you have anything planned? I used to hate when people asked me that when I was working in the office because I had just spent an entire week doing something that I was forced to do, and I just wanted a little peace, and quiet. Therefore, I am happy to say I do not have anything that I have to do this weekend, however, I do have a few things that I want to do!

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you enjoyed this post and the quote I shared with you. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. I hope you have a lovely and enjoyable weekend! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Pick-Me-Up Thursday!

Happy Friday eve, y’all! I hope you have had a good week, and that you are looking forward to the upcoming weekend. Remember, this is your weekend, and you do not have to make any plans, but you can if that is what you want to do. My plans for the weekend are to, hopefully, sleep in a little because that is normally something that I never do. I also do not plan on doing anything that is not something that I want to do. Of course, one thing besides sleeping in that I want to do is to clean the house because I do enjoy cleaning the house and getting things organized. This is something that makes me feel accomplished😊! I also want to do at least one more post for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month!

Do you believe there is power in positive thinking? Is it possible that our thoughts send positive or negative thoughts out into the universe, and those thoughts can become our reality? If we try turning a negative situation into something positive, is it possible that we can change the outcome? Unfortunately, I do think it is possible most people will become consumed with whatever challenge they are dealing with at any moment and cannot see a positive outcome or anything positive at all. It is easy to feel there is no way out of a negative situation and drown in the darkness, but it does not need to remain this way.

There is a chance that I am wrong, but I do believe something is amazing about positive thinking. It may not always work, but what would it hurt to at least try? Life is still going to keep going, and time is not going to stop, so it will not harm anything or anyone to try to think positively😊! What if we try to think more positively and start seeing great changes in our life? Maybe one at a time, we can start making some truly amazing and positive changes in the world! I hope you will find the quote that I am sharing helpful and that it provides you with the pick-me-up we all need on Thursday!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared and the quote was beneficial. We have almost reached the end of this week, which I think is a blessing. My week was not too bad, but I am ready for it to be over and hope I can have a few days with NO complaints or argumentative attitudes. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Inspirational Wednesday

We have made it through the first half of the week successfully, now we just have a few more days before the weekend will return! I tend to think the first few days of every week are always the most challenging, but what do you think, is it the first few days or the last few days? The first days of my week provided me with an amazing surprise as I received several fantastic compliments at work. I do not know about you, but I find people are quick to complain or make negative comments, and rarely pay compliments to others. I do not work to get recognition but work to provide the best service I can, so when it is noticed, I am shocked!

The weeks tend to feel long, and at the halfway point, I think we could all use a little inspiration because we know there are a few more days left. I want y’all to read and reread this quote because I want you to be reminded of how successful you are, and how much power you have within you. Each decision we make during our lives may provide us with new possibilities, and we need to take time to notice them. Some of these possibilities and opportunities may seem small, but in the bigger picture, everyone is extremely important.

What has been the best of your week so far? Of course, I am sure it will end up being Friday because that will mean the week is finally over. Do you have anything planned for the weekend? The only thing I am planning to do is, try to sleep in a little, clean the house again, do laundry, and attempt to finish the article I am writing for the competition. I am still unsure if anything I write will be good enough, but if I do not at least try, I will always wonder what might have been.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared, and I am looking forward to reading your comments. I will respond to all of your comments as quickly as possible. It is important to know that there are people out there that appreciate you and all you do, even if they fail to let you know! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

How is it already Monday again? Does it ever feel like the “weekend” was nothing more than a dream or a wish? It always seems like the weekend goes by way too fast. I think it would be amazing if the workweek was four days, and every weekend was three days😊! Even if this was the way things went, the weekends would NEVER be long enough. How was your weekend? I did not do much of anything, but I was able to sleep in a little on Sunday, which was a HUGE difference for me. Normally, I am awake every day by 7:15 AM, and yesterday I did not get up until a little after 8:00!

We should always try to begin our week with a positive and motivated mindset. Yes, I do understand it is not easy, but it is better than starting a new week with a negative mindset because then the entire week would be negative. Even though it is not easy to say goodbye to the weekend and get back into the normal workweek, how do you do this? Of course, we do not have a choice, but we can decide how we will proceed with the week. Is there anything you are looking forward to this week? I just try to have hope for a good week and that my workweek will be and stay busy. I have my normal one on one meeting with my supervisor tomorrow, but as crazy as this sounds, I enjoy meeting with my supervisor!

I mentioned in another post that I was thinking about doing another writing competition. The due date for this competition is not until May, and I already have it mostly completed. The only problem I am having with this is, I do not ever feel like my writing is good enough. Yes, I know I am the only one that can change this, but I do not know where to begin with building confidence in myself or my abilities. How do you build confidence in yourself? Unfortunately, this is something I have not been able to learn.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared and I hope your week goes well. Even if Monday does not go great, each day afterward gets better until we make it back to the weekend. I am looking forward to your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Sunday Thoughts

Our emotions are powerful, strong, intense, and can be terrifying. We can experience numerous forms of emotions each day and may feel several of these emotions simultaneously. Not all of the emotions we encounter will be positive and enjoyable, but there will also be negative emotions that we will need to handle and adjust to. Of course, positive emotions are always welcomed, and “most” people will not have any complaints. Unfortunately, there are some people that can find a reason to complain no matter how well things are going in their lives.

Negative emotions can impact anyone’s life. Positive or negative emotions do not discriminate and will invade your life, heart, and mind without notice. There is a part of me that believes that some negative emotions, such as anger, can create positive changes because we may feel so much anger, we will do whatever it takes to fix the situation. What do you think about this, is anger only a negative and cannot ever have a positive outcome?

Overall, I try to avoid negativity because this can be toxic, and some people may allow negativity to consume their lives. For anyone that can turn on the news and not feel angry, I would love to know your secret. I mostly try to avoid the news because I cannot help but feel outraged by what I see. There have been too many countless incidents of gun violence where innocent people have been killed, or law enforcement killed unarmed people instead of trying to de-escalate the situation. I do understand people protesting against the many wrongs that have occurred such as Roe vs Wade being overturned or when law enforcement kills innocent and unarmed Black Americans because this is just cowardly.

Recently, I did see a news segment that was positive and displayed what justice should be. It has been said that on Tuesday, the former President, Donald Trump is going to be formally indicted. Do I truly believe this man will spend any time behind bars as he deserves, probably not, but I can hope this will happen. No person should be allowed to get away with any crimes and it should not matter if the alleged criminal was a former President. The shame for their criminal behavior falls on them for behaving in an unethical and deplorable manner, but also on those that will vote for him again in the 2024 election.

What do the terms anger and justice mean to you? According to the dictionary, anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Justice is the ethical idea that people will be treated impartially, fairly, properly, and reasonably by the law and that laws are to ensure that no harm befalls another, and that, where harm is alleged. I feel like many people have forgotten what justice means because it is rarely seen in the United States. If people have money, they can get away with any criminal acts they do and this should NEVER be the case! If any ordinary person did any of the criminal acts the former President did, there would be no questions, and they would be in jail. No person is and should have be above the law!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared, and that you are having a good weekend. Unfortunately, our weekends are short and we are close to the end of it, but hopefully, you are able to enjoy the last day before the workweek starts again. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes! 

Always, Alyssa

Let’s Be Honest

Happy Saturday, y’all! After a long and frustrating week, how do you want to spend your weekend? With today being the first day of the weekend, all I wanted to do was sleep in, but that did not happen. It was not just the way things typically go by waking up at the same time I normally do, and was much worst than that. For the past two days, the pain in my legs and feet has been at a miserable high. I have not been able to get comfortable and sleep well, which makes me feel abnormally tired and irritated. I know things could be far worse, but Multiple Sclerosis often feels like a punishment for something I did in life, and no matter how many times I apologize, it does not end! I guess it would help if I knew what the punishment was for.

I think our lives are nothing more than a series of events that help to shape us and build our strength. I am not sure who said that we are not given more than we can handle because I think they may have been incorrect or overly optimistic. Of course, for the most part, all the challenges we face in life do not kill us, and maybe they make us stronger, but when does it end? When have we endured enough struggles and hardships, and can have even one day that is easy? I know we were never promised an easy life, but I think we should be able to have a short break from pain and struggles!

Do you feel you always have to be strong? Do you feel you must stay optimistic because if you do not, that would mean you are weak? Do you always have an authentic smile on your face, or is that smile often fake? Why should we have to pretend we are okay when we are crying on the inside? I think that it should be okay to not be okay all of the time, this does not make someone weak, but stronger. Admitting we are in pain and need a little help makes us human. We all try to pretend everything is okay and that life is perfect, but if we were being honest with ourselves and everyone else, we would admit we are perfectly imperfect humans, and that should be okay!

Thank you for visiting my site today. While this is not the most positive post I have done, and I do apologize for that, I am being honest. When someone is in excruciating pain and they understand it may not end, why is it not acceptable to just admit it? Accepting something unpleasant in life is the first step, and you can only go up from that point on. I hope you enjoyed this post, and it may have resonated with how you are feeling. Please understand, even though it may seem like it, you are not alone. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Let It Go Friday

Finally, it is Friday!! I think I have been waiting for today since Monday or maybe Sunday night😊! It can make for a long week when you look forward to Friday for so many days! Do you have anything planned for the weekend? For as long as I have looked forward to the weekend, I have NO plans and I think that is the best way to spend a weekend. Seriously, we are all forced to do something we might not want to do all week, so why should we do anything we do not want to do during the weekend?

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and most people have no idea what it means and just use it as a day to party. My late Grandfather was very Irish and I am sure he enjoyed celebrating the holiday, I am sure he knew the meaning behind the holiday because he was an amazing man. Of course, in my eyes, he could do no wrong and he basically hung the moon and stars in the sky! Do you know the meaning behind St. Patrick’s Day? Today commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.

I always think Friday is the perfect day to let go of any negative emotions the week created because we should be able to enjoy the weekend as much as possible. Our weekends are already too short, so why should we carry anything unpleasant into them? Right, we should never allow negativity into our weekend! I hope the quote I am sharing with you today helps you release the negative emotions you might be feeling that the week caused, and you can leave it in the past. Life is too short, and it is never too late to make changes. Maybe you want to pursue a different job, or maybe you just want a change in where you are living. Change can be scary, but you do not want to live life with any regrets!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared and you had a good week. I hope whatever you have planned for the weekend is only doing what YOU want to do because you deserve to enjoy yourself. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Pick-Me-Up Thursday

I know this post is called Pick-Me-Up Thursday, but heck with that I would much prefer to acknowledge today as Friday Eve! As many of you know, the past few weeks have been awful because I have been dealing with way too many frustrations. It would have been much easier if healthcare was not so dysfunctional and expensive in the United States, but it is what it is. I am just glad it is over, at least for the next year anyways. How has your week been? Are you looking forward to the weekend as much as I am? It is not like I have anything planned, but I will not be getting up early for work!

Even though we do still have one day left in the week, our week is almost over! Not that I want to think of today as Thursday, which of course, it is, but I do think we could use a little pick-me-up! Often we have to work hard, but we should want to work hard for a reason. This reason does not need to be for praise or recognition, but because we are doing something we are passionate about. None of us are promised tomorrow, so we need to be sure if today is our last day, we leave something positive behind. We might not always be able to make changes that will impact a lot of people, but they might have an amazing impact on one person, and this should be enough!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared and the quote was a nice pick me up for you! I am looking forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. Yes, it was a long week, but what was one good thing that happened to you this week? Do not think about the negative things, but try to focus only on the good! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Finally, good NEWS!

After over two stressful weeks of dealing with my Neurologist’s office and the Gilenya program, I FINALLY got good news late yesterday! Of course, it took me calling Gilenya at least once a day, sometimes more, and speaking to numerous different people all of which continued giving me the runaround. I have never experienced awful customer service as I did with Gilenya, but at least it is over for the next year and my medication is being overnighted to me. Of course, they made me run out of medication, but thanks to the nurse at my Neurologist’s office who also made several phone calls and faxed the prescription several times, all is behind me now.

Does it sound like I am asking for too much? The only thing I was requesting was to get the medication that I need for Multiple Sclerosis shipped to me in a timely manner so that I would not be forced to go without it. This medication is not something that I am wanting, it is something that is a need for my health, to keep the MS under control or at least under control as much as possible. It is not like Gilenya is some kind of recreational drug, so I will never understand why it took so much work for me to get this taken care of. What I have always known is, my cats do not like to see me cry and they have seen me in tears too many times lately.

When medication is required for someone’s health, it should not cause as much stress as Gilenya caused me. There are several things that can cause issues with Multiple Sclerosis to worsen, stress is one of them. Do you know how many other fully developed countries, like the United States, offer free healthcare? As far as I know, the United States is the ONLY fully developed country that charges a ton of money for health insurance and then charges more money for doctor’s appointments and medications. It is the most ridiculous nonsense I have ever heard of. Then these doctors, who I am sure are in the pocket of the pharmaceutical companies wonder why patients are so frustrated and their health fails!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I appreciate the kind words many of you have shared during the past few weeks, while I was dealing with this stress. I hope you are having a good week and you are feeling as well as possible. I do look forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa