how much is enough?

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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Author: stephen

stephen harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in maine.

3 thoughts on “how much is enough?”

  1. i think we should pray for their pity, no money no honey, it’s very simple, is it? i have spms and no insurance, what a life is it?

  2. Youv’e got it wrong–the compounded drug you’ve been using is 4-AP, not Fampridine. Fampridine was developed as a much more effective sustained release formula by Elan and Acorda. I was on the Fampridine trial for two years, and then had to use 4-AP briefly. It’s only half as effective as Fampridine, the difference is like night and day. I will happily pay the copay for Fampridine/Ampyra, whatever the cost. It makes a huge diffrence in my functioning. Acorda is also developing other ms treatments, the most exciting being their myelin repair project. They spend huge time and resources on ms research–a great company.

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