It’s so hard to imagine the emotions of receiving a diagnosis that can affect the rest of your life, maintaining relationships, succeeding at a job, and just day-to-day living activities. It can be even more challenging to envision what it feels like to be diagnosed at a very young age when someone is just starting adult life and planning for a future. It can be shocking, frightening, and hard to accept.
March is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month, a chance to educate and increase awareness about this chronic inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease. It affects nearly 2.8 million people worldwide, is two to three times more common in women than men, and most often is diagnosed in people between 20 and 50 years old.
While there is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis, establishing and following a treatment plan is the best way to manage MS and enhance one’s quality of life. Treatment plans for MS include medications called disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), which help prevent further damage in the central nervous system, reduce the number and severity of relapses, and slow down the progression of disability.
It is essential to start treatment with DMTs as early after diagnosis as possible and adhere to the treatment plan to help prevent permanent damage. However, because most MS treatments currently prescribed are considered specialty medications, patients with MS may encounter substantial obstacles in paying for and accessing the prescribed treatment. Combined with the time it may take patients to accept the new reality and be open and ready to start therapy, it may be delayed even further.
Shields Health Solutions focuses on supporting patients throughout every step of their challenging journey. Our integrated clinical model breaks down barriers to optimize patient outcomes and significantly reduces time to therapy, which allows patients to begin treatment immediately. Our liaisons are embedded in clinics and have face-to-face interactions, not only with each patient from the beginning of the process but also with the rest of the medical team, allowing for personalized care and better coordination. Our financial assistance increases medication adherence and therapy effectiveness by reducing out-of-pocket costs. And increased touchpoints with our clinical pharmacists who provide education and support for patients and patients’ families allows multiple opportunities to improve care, intervene, and increase therapy adherence achieving optimal treatment outcomes.
There’s been so much progress in treating and caring for someone with MS. But it can be challenging to know where to turn. By educating and raising awareness about this chronic disease, we can continue to make progress and hopefully, one day, find a cure.
Learn more about the outcomes our Shields care model provides MS patients below.