Multiple sclerosis

Last updated on March 16, 2022

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system, consisting of the spinal cord, brain, and optic nerves. MS occurs when the immune system attacks myelin, the fatty substance surrounding and insulating the nerve fibers and the nerve fibers themselves. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates that almost one million people nationwide are affected by multiple sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

MS can be difficult to diagnose because many of its symptoms are similar to other neurologic diseases. Symptoms include the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Weak and stiff muscles
  • Numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Bladder control problems

What Causes MS

Doctors don’t know the exact reason why MS develops in some people and not in others. Below are some risk factors for developing the disease.

  • Genetics: Having a family member with MS increases your chances of getting it.
  • Geography: People who live closer to the equator and get more sunlight and vitamin D have less risk of developing MS.
  • Smoking
  • Certain viruses: Epstein Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis, can be responsible for the onset of MS.
  • Women “are more than two to three times as likely as men are to have” MS.
  • Age: People ages 15 to 60
  • Race: White people, especially those of Northern European descent
  • Other diseases: People with certain autoimmune diseases (e.g., type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease)

MS Treatment

Although currently, no cure exists for MS, there are various medicines used to treat it, which can be very expensive. According to Healthline, MS costs between $30,000 and $100,000 annually per patient, depending on the severity. The medications can be taken:

  • Via an injection under the skin or in the muscle
  • Through an infusion
  • Orally

How to Dispose of Needles

It is important for those who must take injections to correctly dispose of the used needles in sharps containers, which can be purchased at drugstores or pharmacies. Sharps Compliance offers containers that with a mailback option in which customers mail the filled container to a treatment facility.

If no mailback option is available, they may check if their cities have collection sites where they will take filled containers. Several states have passed legislation making it illegal to throw sharps into household trash, so patients must be sure to determine the safest method of disposal that meets all state requirements.

Sharps Compliance offers a Patient Support Program for pharmaceutical manufacturers. This program allows customers to safely and conveniently dispose of their sharps while manufacturers can collect valuable data. This data can increase adherence, design treatment mechanisms and protocols, and guide conversations with payers about reimbursement and formulary position.