i’ve been reading a lot lately, as have probably most of you, about this “new” treatment for ms, ampyra. it’s essentially the same drug as fampridine (which i get from a small compounding pharmacy for about $45/month). the only thing new about ampyra is that is made by Acorda Therapeutics, and will probably cost around $10,000/year. it is an “sr” formula, so it will only have to be taken every 12 hours (as opposed to fampridine, which has to be taken every 4). it may end up with fewer side effects (fampridine is known to cause seizures at higher doses), but i have not seen any reports that it is any more effective.
on one hand, i’m all for it, if it means fewer pills and if maybe it will turn out to be more effective with less risk of seizure. but on the other hand, i would so much rather give my money (or my insurance company’s money) to a small pharmacy rather than a huge pharma company. i understand it costs money to develop drugs, which is why they end up being so pricey. but this one WAS ALREADY OUT THERE! i don’t know what acorda is basing their pricing on, but it is more than likely they didn’t have to invest all that much in research. they certainly should be rewarded and paid for their product, but how much is enough? i’d love to know what the profit margin is on ampyra, compared to the fampridine i get from the little pharmacy.
ok, rant over.
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