- Appeal the insurance decision. I appealed and won a couple years ago. It took six months with no guarantee that I would win. I went without any medication for six months. It was worrisome and frustrating, and that’s not conducive to good health when trying to reduce stress. I did it, but I’m not sure I’m up for it again right now.
- Go without medication. Before these medications were available, people with MS were likely to be disabled needing walking assistance within ten years of diagnosis. I’m at year nine and doing well. Going without is not an option, and I don’t think I should be expected to go without. Please also know that cost of care for me will be much higher if I’m in a wheelchair, can’t work and live with all of the associated health problems that come with disability.
- Find a new medication. I’ve tried two in the past that caused such misery they were not an option for me. Insurance companies want to treat all patients the same, and we’re just not. What works for one person doesn’t work for another. What helps one person causes severe side effects for another. We need to keep trying different medications each time one doesn’t work, and we hope we don't run out of options. One I tried for nine months before giving up. Another took six weeks before my body broke out in hives and I had to cease taking it. Each time I try a new medication, it takes months to get approved and use it before I’ll know if it’s going to work for me.
On February 28, 2018, I wrote a follow up post. Read Part 2 of my pharmaceutical medication denial and decision reversal Necessary Medications and Politics: Part 2