Friday, March 6, 2009

So soon?? Will the party be over?

This just in, from a Google alert sent by email:


ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Novartis AG (NVS) chief operating officer Joerg Reinhardt said Wednesday Novartis plans to file experimental multiple sclerosis pill FTY720 for regulatory approval before the end of this year.

Reinhardt was speaking at a press conference to detail the pharmaceutical company's fourth-quarter earnings.

Company Web site:
-By Anita Greil, Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8044 ; anita.greil@
(END) Dow Jones Newswires 01-28-09 0426ET
Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


So, the GREAT news is the drug will be submitted for approval by the end of this year...

The news that is between those lines is that my free drug ride may be ending sooner that I hoped.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm thrilled that the MS population will be able to finally have a pill added to their choice of CRABs, but I don't know where I'm going to get the money to pay for this stuff when they start charging. As soon as it gets approved, I've got to fork over money for the stuff. I'm uninsured and don't qualify for Medicaid...what am I going to do??

I sure wish part of the agreement to enter the clinical trial had been "free medication for life". Would it really have put that big a dent in Novartis' pocket to take care of us guinea pigs who so graciously allowed the experiment to proceed to the point at which their cash cow will be ready for milking??


  1. Well, my 2-year trial ends in July, but the hospital is already talking about extending the trial. We might still be useful to Novartis as long-term study subjects, so I would not say that certification means that they start sending out invoices.

    (I don't have health insurance either, and though Ireland does have a national health service, such as it is, I don't think they would fund the full cost of FTY720. Considering the number of MRIs, & staff hours etc. that this trial is costing Novartis, I don't expect FTY720 to be cheap.)

  2. Don't you worry I will do what it takes to make sure you get what you need. I'm so inspired by you and how far you have come - the hope you give to others.

    You know I'm not a fan of the drug companies but if they have something that helps you then I'm here to help you.

    Love and hugs!

  3. Shoot, my trial just BEGINS next week! Surely, ongoing trials wouldn't just stop, would they? I'll have to ask my study nurse what she thinks.

    Here's a thought: just because Novartis applies to get the drug to market, that's not something that happens in a week or anything, does it?

    Another uninsured person here...

  4. @ Anne: I'm sure they wouldn't just halt the ongoing trials. I happen to be in an extension phase of my trial so I'm not sure what happens in my case.

    Also, you are correct. FDA approval doesn't happen over night. That can drag on for years as well, I think.

    I'm sorry for all the people waiting on this pill when I selfishly say I hope it takes a while.

  5. I could not agree with you more! I'm hoping that the approvals move along a bit slowly so I can stay on the drug for as long as possible!

  6. Took my first dose TODAY! I'm sure it'll take years to get approved... the FDA is in no hurry to help Novartis make money, are they?


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