Have you ever met someone, become friends with someone and then found out they were living with a debilitating disease, and you couldn’t tell? I never would have guessed a friend of mine was living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She appears to be the epitome of health, constantly traveling to new places and coming back with amazing stories.
And yet, she is one of more than 400,000 Americans estimated to be affected by MS – and a cure has not been found.
Fortunately, there has been significant progress over the last decade in treating MS, including new treatments and methods of administration, which has enabled my friend and other patients to continue living life to the fullest. Since her diagnosis in her early 20s, she has gone on to spend summers abroad and is currently working on her master’s in Europe. This month, as we recognize National Multiple Sclerosis Education & Awareness Month, let’s reflect on the progress.
According to a recently released report, “A Decade of Innovation in Chronic Diseases,” MS patients like my friend now have more options to choose from when considering their treatments.
These options, including three oral medicines and several first-time treatments for those with the progressive form of the disease, offer more convenience that increases adherence and leads to better treatment outcomes. With 40 medicines in development by biopharmaceutical companies to treat MS, patients like my friend have more hope than ever before.
Learn more about progress over the last decade here.
Nicole Longo Nicole is senior manager of public affairs at PhRMA. She previously worked for a D.C.-based public affairs firm where she assisted a wide range of clients with communications efforts on everything from trade policy to agriculture policy to health care policy. Outside the office, Nicole can be found trying new restaurants (usually Italian), taking an occasional barre class and cheering on the Cincinnati Bengals.