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I have been on Avonex for about 15 years. I have questioned many times (when I was whining to my husband that I didn't want my shot) whether it really does any good. Or is it a big joke on us poor MS sufferers?

Once, many years ago, my insurance company stopped enabling me in my use of Avonex. I went to my local pharmacy to pick up my drugs, and my copay went from $10 to a whopping $1,200! Yikes!!! I thought that there had to be better way. So I went cold turkey. I began to slowly deteriorate. I became weaker, limped more and my fatigue became worse. When I saw my Dr., she recommended that I get on some type of interferon drug and Rebif was having a special. I said "what the heck!" and started my new shots. At first I was good but as my dosage increased over a few weeks I began to feel very light-headed. My doctor ordered me to stop taking it. Meanwhile...Avonex shows up on the scene and says that they have a copay assistance program for only $15 per month. So I was back to my Avonex.

So my questions are...

Is it really that expensive to make?
Who "assists" in the copay assistance programs?
How is it that one program only requires you to pay $10 while another, $120?
Why does one provide 1 months worth of medication? and another 3 months worth?
Why do they claim to only cover you for 1 or maybe 2 years and another indefinitly?
When they ask to see your tax returns and they need to find out eligibilty, what exactly is the cutoff for financial assistance? $1.00 or $100,000?

When I have looked for answers online, I only find more people with questions. I don't want to look a gift-horse in the mouth but...what's the deal?

Anyone have answers?
Say what you want about Biogen - and I've had my complaints about their marketing Tysabri as a first-line treatment, but they have the most generous financial assistance of any of the drug companies in the US. They're very flexible and don't care about income as much as others.

Tell them you were on it, you stopped and you need their help. They will do it. They spend $5000 paying down my out of pocket maxiumum each year. They make it back in 2 months since my insurance company pays them $4000/month for the rest of the year. It's a good investment for them - they spend $5,000 and get back $48,000.

But they will also send it to you free if you have no coverage, are unemployed or whatever. You can make a decent income - they don't expect you to spend $50,000 per year, even if you're making $100,000.

You can message me privately if you need more details, but they are very helpful.

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
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