The Out of Pocket Costs For Australians with MS (Multiple Sclerosis)

The Out of Pocket Costs For Australians with MS (Multiple Sclerosis)


Understanding MS

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Australia affects over 23,700 according to 2012 statistics from MS Australia. Each year the incidences of MS in Australia grows at about 4 per cent, where three out of every four people diagnosed are women.

Living with Multiple Sclerosis means it is a life-long chronic illness. Currently there is not cure for Multiple Sclerosis. However, for Australians who are diagnosed, there are treatments to assist in managing MS and also to ease some of the symptoms that can occur.

The affects of MS vary depending on the person. Here are a few examples of the types of symptoms MS suffers can experience.

Motor control – muscular spasms and problems with weakness, coordination, balance and functioning of the arms and legs.

Fatigue – including heat sensitivity.

Other neurological symptoms – including vertigo, pins and needles, neuralgia and visual disturbances.

Continence problems – including bladder incontinence and constipation.

Neuropsychological symptoms – including memory loss, depression and cognitive difficulties.

What Are The Costs Involved When Living With MS?

It is a very common experience for Australians living with MS to have a range of conditions and therefore a range of symptoms and problems that need to be treated or managed on a regular basis. Some individuals can take up to 15 Pharmaceutical Benefits scheme (PBs) medicines per month, making the cost of management expensive. Most Australians suffering from MS will need to cover costs all year round, and require multiple medicines throughout the course of a month.

On average, the costs up to thousands of dollars per month, depending on the type of medicines that you require and the gap fees associated with the cost. Other than medicines, there are also other costs that can add up per month. One example is seen during warmer or hot days where Australians with MS may suffer from fatigue. To prevent fatigue, individuals may often require air-conditioning for long periods of time, increasing the cost of the electricity bill.

photo by: sk8geek