Monday, January 24, 2011

MS Education Monday: What does it cost to find a cure???

What does it cost to find a cure is really a loaded question to most.  However, I have been researching for months about the funding that goes in to the research of MS and related illnesses. As many people know, research for these diseases are funded through non-profit organizations, fundraisers, and major drug companies.  For example, I am participating in the Walk MS event.  Events of this nature bring people together that are somehow effected by the disease or people who know someone that is.  Each participant is asked to seek donations to contribute to the fundraising efforts of the National MS Society.  All donations go to covering the cost of the event and research for treatment and cure of the disease.  This is similar to the Susan G. Koman race for the cure.  However, the MS Society does not ask each participant for a registration fee... it is free to partcipate. This is their way of basically raising awareness. 

So.... I researched the cost for a clinical trial for medication or research.  It was astounding to me.  It is estimated that a clinical trial on average costs about 2.5 million dollars for early development, research and one 12-week study series.  This means that the clinical trial would only be about one-forth complete with enough data for the FDA to even recognize its findings.  Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University like many other advanced colleges of medicine studies specific aspects of the disease through reseach and willing participants.  Without these colleges support, many studies would never be able to even break ground. 

Why is this important? Well just like everything else, research is expensive.  However, there are too many people who are dependant upon this research to live as much of a normal life as possible.  I think many people get tired of being asked for donations or even discussing money in this economy. I commend the companies who are assisting MS patients.  Like many other expensive drugs, if you are unable to pay for your meds (including co-pays) they offer assistance to make it possible to never miss a dose due to financial reasons. So all I ask is for people to really do their research when donating to a cause.  The number one most important question to ask is how much of my donation goes directly to research?  If its less than 50%, I recommend chosing a different charitable cause.

Happy MS Education Monday!! Next week I will discuss Unique Protiens in Early Stages of MS (reasons behind the Spinal Tap for diagnosis).

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