But Tysabri has not been used outside the clinical trial situation other than for that 2 month period and we'll have to wait for at least a year before any kind of real answers on more than mild MS cases can be determined.
If you want to get technical, Tysabri was available to the general public for four months 11/04-2/28/05, not 2 months and it was prescribed at that time for a wide range of MS, not just mild.
"The cumulative probability of progression (on the basis of Kaplan-Meier analysis) was 17 percent in the natalizumab group and 29 percent in the placebo group. "
Again, this is a "relative" number. Take 100 mild MS patents...17 of them on Tysabri have progression....29 of them on Tysabri do not. So out of 100 patients, 12 more progressed. Improvement yes....tremendously improved numbers...no.
I provided actual data and you are rebutting said data with "relative theories"...sorry Harry, your argument doesn't fly against proven data...it flies only to you.
"Furthermore, Tysabri improves the Quality of Life in MS patients. See data submitted to the annual AAN: http://www.elan.com/News/full.asp?ID=840112
No doubt it does for those who gain benefit from it. And you can read similar comments from some CRAB users and also from Prokarin users. Just today I read a note from a Copaxone user who stabilized their MS and regained some quality of their life back.
Again, I quoted proven data presented to the American Academy of Neurologists, and you are rebutting proven data with an 'undocumented note from a Copaxone user...this argument only flies with/for you Harry.
Like I've said, it will take a good year before Tysabri's overall performance can be determined. Hopefully the trial data we've been given will translate to the same benefit for other MS patients. If it does not, then there will be a lot of very upset people!
Like I have said before, there is already 2 year + 2 months data and an add'l 7 months monotherapy in the trials alone, plus infusions taking place as we speak..When, not if, the data being collected up through the next 6 months or less = to one year in the phase III monotherapy trials is complete and the spectuclar data is released not only from the trials, but from the general population, there will be a lot of upset MS'ers who chose to not switch to Tysabri, endured horrible side effects therefrom needlessley, and they will be very
upset with their neuros too!
In closing Harry, with all due respect, as to your other arguments re: Tysabri's price and the financial assistance needed by MS patients, please note: About Tysabri pricing, I believe there is data to support that the other MS drugs on the market have gone up similarly while Tysabri was off the market. While Tysabri was away, the competitors raised their prices. As I recall Elan's price increase was in line with other price increases.
Also, the value of Tysabri is selling a drug that has demonstrated less relapses. Less relapses mean less money spent by the medical system and insurance companies recovering from relapses. And for the patient it means less relapses, less side effects and a better quality of life. That is why Tysabri has value. It has little to do with what the consumer can afford, and it seems to me it is more about the value of a drug that saves money by working better. Saves the system money and provides a better quality of life for patients. Just like anything else, you get what you pay for. Across the board. Based on price, Tysabri is the best thing going for some.
Should you want to explore the entire health care system, that's a different story. Tons of problems, but that doesn't mean that the free market won't drive price. All houses don't cost the same, nor cars, boats, apartments, waters, or wines. Why shouldn't all drugs be free? Being an individual is not where it's at. Group insurance has better rates and better coverage because it is better business. The larger the group the more predictable the costs and more stable the costs. So, does anyone want to let the government, or private sector solve the national health insurance plan? There is your large group.
A tangled mess, with a new effective drug called Tysabri. And as discussed previously, there are support structures to try and catch those not able to afford every medication available. If you feel stongly about Tysabri availability costs, you should lobby the different companies to show strong support for all MS medications. Apparently as posted earlier such a fund exists (NORDS). If you, Harry are proactive as indicated above, then perhaps you can help affect change for large numbers of MS patients by approaching all the MS drug companies. Perhaps requesting a percentage of their net income from their MS drugs go into the NORDS fund. I don't know, it's not my battle. I wish you luck.
Best wishes always,