Analyzing Patient Assistance Programs for Multiple Sclerosis: MS LifeLines and Rebif

As part of our continuing efforts to highlight all the patient assistance programs available through the pharmaceutical companies that make the disease modifying drugs for Multiple Sclerosis, we continue with Rebif.

What we want to know about these programs is:

  1. How easy is it to apply?
  2. What is needed to apply?
  3. How easy is it to receive the assistance?
  4. Do they really work in terms of helping MS patients with financial assistance?
  5. What is offered?

We finally got some good news and welcome answers today when we spoke with MS LifeLines. For those of you with MS who are uninsured or underinsured, you can and do receive help. The application process must begin over the telephone and can, most times, be completed by phone with no waiting period. There is no online application. The phone number for MS LifeLines is 877-447-3243.

You must have a valid prescription for Rebif to start the process. Rebif costs approximately $2800 per month. More drug information can be found at Destination Rx.

MS LifeLines offers three types of assistance, including help for those who are currently taking the medication. The chart below is taken directly from MS LifeLines and explains the assistance for those who are newly prescribed and those who are currently taking Rebif.

How to get started on MS LifeLines Access Made Simple

I asked if MS LifeLines was prepared for the fact that many will be asking for assistance due to the stipulation of going without insurance for 6 months prior to applying to the new high risk pools and indeed, could they be receive Rebif at no charge? The answer was yes, and yes, they already do offer assistance of free medication, up to one year, for those without insurance. MS LifeLines also stressed to me the importance, they feel, of making sure those who do need Rebif and cannot afford it, do get help, including the Medicare Part D “Donut Hole.”

Rebif is made by EMD Serono, Inc., an affiliate of Merck KGaA, and by Pfizer Inc. Stock quote for Merck here. Quote for Pfizer here.