All 4 DMDs (disease modifying drugs) have plans to help in the US for drug costs....Avonex is the most expensive, with a guaranteed no more than 100$ copay.
Rebif guarantees no more than 50$.
Copaxone guarantees no more than 35$.
Tysabri has a program designed to help with both the drug and infusion costs, however this one is sliding scale based on income.
When your doctor and you decide which drug you want to take, he will send the paperwork to the drug company- you will be assigned a case manager. This person will call you and work with you to get the costs down. My husband and I together make a decent living, and have great insurance; however I still qualified when I was on Copaxone and Rebif for the guaranteed co-pay. Once you agree to the copay, youll get paperwork in the mail to fill out so you have it in writing.....and when you return it, the drugs begin to show up. Youll also be scheduling a nurse and home visit- if its one of the first three- to come to your house (once the drug shows up) and teach you how to inject and stay with you during the first shot.....(to make sure you dont have an allergy or immediate reaction). After that - your nurse will call you regularly to see how you are doing and youll still have your case manager at the company to call if you have any questions in between and to request that the nurse call or come see you again.
ALL the MS drugs have terrific support programs. And, believe it or not, one month in, you will think you have been doing this forever. Injecting, becomes like brushing your teeth- something you just "do".
I seem to remember, this is for your nephew, right? Depending on his age, he may qualify for NJ state insurance....is he a dependent? Does he work at all? If its simply a matter of working but being in a low income bracket, he may want to look at Medicaid, which offers some help. If its a matter of disability, he may also want to look at Medicare- which offers even more. If he is a student, the state offers students very affordable health insurance. This is, Im assuming he also lives in NJ- since you were asking about RWJ.
Not having health insurance should not deter him from getting medical help as far as drugs go; however you picked one expensive group to go see for medical care! I have insurance, and they dont take it, my bill is usually between 225-450$ each time I go there......Im not sure where you (or he) lives, but if traveling to hunterdon county isnt too far- I have a terrfic doctor who takes new patients, is extremely helpful with everything MS. He isnt a MS specialist, but he has a fellowship in MS- and trained with Jalbut....he is alot more affordable (for me, he accepts my insurnace) - if you find that the RWJ experience isnt helpful, let me know.
Let me know what county you live in......its really a very good idea to start with a MS specialist such as Dr B who you are seeing....but once you get a dx and you are 100% sure of what you are dealing with, there are many very good Neurologists who have large MS practices in NJ...I can probably give you a few names to look into.
You DO want to start with the MS specialist however; just in case its NOT MS, youl have a much better start as to where you need to go next. You will get good information from this group. You can trust them to take good care of him.
Keep us posted. I know its overwhelming and alot of information- but break it down into manageable chunks....and keep asking questions. Thats how you learn. No one gets a MS dx overnight unfortunately, unless they are really clearly showing all the signs of MS both clinically and radiographically. I was one of those patients. On Tuesday afternoon I went to the doctor, by Tuesday night, they were 99% sure it was MS and by the following Wed afternoon, The doctors at RWJ confirmed what I already knew. Im glad I got the second opinion or I might have always wondered...but in the end, my regular Neuro gives me the same care and is more accessible to me. I still show up at RWJ once a year to keep my name on the patient list and I absolutely love the MS nurse they have- but my day to day monitoring and my meds are all done thru my regular Neuro at this point.