Loobie wrote:This makes me just wait with baited breath for the impending state run health care in the US. I can hardly wait........ People in this country will just vote it in and then bitch like mad when they can't get what they want.
Tysabri might not be available yet in the UK or Australia (both being countries that subsidise phama drugs), but I wouldn't swap the situation in Australia or UK with the US for anything.
In the UK and Australia, drugs that are subsidised are made available to the entire population (working, unemployed, retired, whatever) for between $3.50 and $35 (Australian dollars, so even less in USD). This means that nobody goes without essential drugs because they can't afford them. 'Essential' doesn't mean you have to be on your death bed - it includes the full range of well-established drugs. In the case of MS, that includes Rebif, Avonex, Copaxone and Betaseron.
It horrifies me to read that there are people in the US that:
- don't use MS drugs because their insurance won't pay;
- don't use MS drugs because they can't afford the co-pay;
- use interferons, but can't afford the regular liver tests; or
- can't afford regular visits to a neurologist.
Although Tysabri was denied government subsidy in Australia recently, Biogen is expected to reapply for subsidy soon, and the drug is expected to be listed. Not that it really means all that much anyway; let's remember:
- Tysabri is a monocolonal antibody that can cause PML;
- anaphalaxis to Tysabri is not that uncommon;
- oral drugs are being developed that equal or exceed's Tysabri's efficacy, with much less risk. These drugs are expected to be available within 2 years or so.
I should also add that Tysabri is approved for use in Australia, but you just have to pay for it in full.