Always follow the money.

Well, it finally makes sense to me why American media and the American National Multiple Sclerosis Society has been so hush-hush about CCSVI and the Liberation Treatment.

Sadly, America really does value money more than it values people.

Biogen Idec Inc. reported Wednesday its first-quarter profit jumped 23%, thanks to double-digit sales growth for its Avonex and Rituxan drugs.

Sales of the company’s flagship drug Avonex, a treatment for multiple sclerosis, rose 19% to $536 million.

And that was after they raised the price of the already incredibly expensive drug (which cost MS patients $19,896.15 a year in 2007) by 14%. That may not sound like much of an increase, but that means the drug now costs an MS patient $22,681.61, a difference of $27,85.46 a year or $232.12 a month.

Yeah, you read that right.

They raised the price of a drug that MS patients take, knowing that people who are already on it must continue taking it for their therapy to be effective. Essentially, they knowingly chose to extort more money from the disabled. Biogen simultaneously increased their profits while preventing those suffering with the disease they purport to help from having the money necessary to support the research necessary to get the fuck off their drugs – which, I might add, do not cure the disease, and often make our lives less tolerable than they were before we even started taking them.

What’s worse to me is knowing that for many of us, myself included, MS means that we have decreased capacity for work, and so we have to work part time, or in jobs that don’t pay as much as we used to be able to earn. So that $232 means more to a person with MS than your average person. They’re pulling as much money as they can away from people who need their money most. It’s just sick. But there’s more!

Rituxan, an oncology drug which is used to help people with cancer, non-hodgkins lymphoma, lupus, and people with MS who are using chemotherapy as a treatment was also up 19% to $247 million and Tysabri was up to $160 million, which was not as much money as they’d hoped for. It’s not surprising since every time you take Tysabri, you risk getting PML and dying. That treatment is Russian roulette if you ask me. Poor Biogen, you can’t get as many people who are willing to take the 1 in 1000 risk. Tear!

Maybe I’m having a shitty attitude at the moment. Those three medications help SO many people. Obviously! I mean, look – the numbers don’t lie! *lol* And without Biogen, those people wouldn’t have the medicine that they need.

So good on Biogen for doing the R&D and taking care of people – but seriously, if someone from Biogen happens to read this: Don’t raise prices on drugs people need to have the rest of their lives like that. It’s not cool. Especially when they’re already really expensive. We’re all trying to live here. And having MS doesn’t make it any easier to get a paycheck – in fact, it makes it harder. Corporations don’t have to be evil.

There’s no wonder, with those three drugs alone bringing $943 MILLION dollars (That’s nearly a billion!) into Biogen in the FIRST QUARTER of 2010 why Big Pharm would want to block information about CCSVI getting out to MS sufferers in America.

I mean, just imagine how much other companies make off the other drugs – this doesn’t even include Betaseron, Copaxone, Rebif, Low Dose Naltrexone, or any number of other drugs that we are on that we have to take to temper these drugs. Many of us are on several drugs – some because of the other drugs we’re on!

Honestly, I can see that through the goggles of Big Pharm, if we were living in a cartoon universe, MS sufferers would just look like Smiling Rolls of Money asking for help. And really… why would anyone want to change a smiling bag of money back into a normal person?

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