MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Marijuana and MS, MS Solutions Contest, MS Diagnosis Delays, Medicare DMT Costs

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by Ed Tobias |

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Medical Marijuana ‘Can Help Everyone,’ Says Director at Maryland Cannabis Facility

Keeping in mind that the person quoted in this article, Mr. Castleman, is growing medical marijuana to make money, I wouldn’t expect him to say anything else. On the other hand, I firmly believe that some forms of cannabis, particularly cannabidiol (CBD oil), with or without the psychoactive THC component, are very useful as an MS treatment. This article presents an excellent overview of the entire medical marijuana process.

Warning the reporter accompanying him not to take any pictures, veteran horticulturalist Michael Castleman punches an electronic code and unlocks the door to Room 209, nicknamed the “Mother Room.”

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Photography is indeed forbidden inside this living vault, which contains 20 phenotypes of cannabis plants thriving under the glare of 25 ceramic metal halide lamps for 18 hours a day. The plants, arranged in groups of four and narrowed down from an original 1,000 seeds, bear colorful names like Oro Blanco, Bubblegum Diesel, and Sunshine Daydream.

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Innovation Challenge Invites Applications from Entrepreneurs Affected by MS

What a great idea: asking people who are impacted by MS to submit their ideas for solutions to problems that we face every day. In other words, solutions that are patient-centric. And there’s a $25,000 prize.

A collaborative initiative between Lyfebulb and Celgene — called “Addressing Unmet Needs in MS: An Innovation Challenge” — is inviting applications from U.S.-based entrepreneurs who have multiple sclerosis (MS), or who have been affected by the disease, and whose companies are trying to find solutions to address unmet needs of the disease.

The goal of the challenge is to find innovative solutions for day-to-day problems faced by MS patients, their families, and caregivers.

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Gait Disorders and Depression at Onset May Delay Time to MS Diagnosis, Study Finds

As anyone with MS can confirm, diagnosing this disease isn’t an easy or quick process. But this study reports that it might be faster if walking problems and depression raised a red flag with medical professionals.

Awareness of certain symptoms, particularly gait disorders and depression, could be critical for reducing the time it takes to diagnose multiple sclerosis after a patient first contacts a healthcare provider, research shows.

In the past 30 years, there has been a major decrease in the time from the onset of MS symptoms to diagnosis. However, many MS patients today still experience delays before being properly diagnosed. Four out of 10 patients report more than two years passing between symptom onset and diagnosis.

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Medicare Rules, Higher Cost-sharing Load Increase Out-of-pocket Spending for MS Therapies, Study Reports

The problem for people who are on Medicare Part D is more than just rising costs for disease-modifying therapies (DMTs); it’s also that the insurance companies that provide medications to Part D clients are becoming more and more restrictive about the DMTs that they will approve. We need to find a way to change that.

Restrictive access policies by Medicare and a rising cost-sharing burden lead to an increased price of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, according to new research.

The findings also revealed that Medicare beneficiaries without a low-income subsidy may spend on average $6,894 for their MS treatments in 2019, with generic versions of Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) representing the highest burden.

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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


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