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Patient Support Programs for People with MS

Did you know that most MS drugmakers have a team of MS nurses on call for you?!
Posted on: June 14th, 2016 by Stephanie Buxhoeveden
Category: About MS, Managing MS, MS Resources, MS Treatments

prescription pill bottlesMultiple Sclerosis specialized nurses are wonderful resources. If you receive care at an MS Center, chances are you have already gotten to know the nurses. What some people don’t realize is that you also have a team of MS nurses through the pharmaceutical company that manufactures your disease modifying treatment (DMT). As a provider, I encourage all of my patients to take advantage of this resource. And as someone living with MS, I have often turned to them for care and advice.

In order to highlight the excellent work that these MS Nurses do, I spoke with Denise Chicoine, who works as a nurse at Genzyme’s One to One Program. Denise has been a nurse for nearly 30 years, working in a variety of settings. She is also passionate about education, and particularly enjoys working one-on-one with her patients and their families so that they can better understand and manage their health. Her interest in multiple sclerosis first began while she was working as a home health nurse, where she cared for a lot of people with MS.

Denise feels strongly that people living with MS should get the best care possible. She is particularly proud that people can call and speak with a One to One nurse 24/7, which is often helpful when someone has a question on an evening or weekend when they can’t reach their provider. She has also found that some people are more comfortable when talking to a nurse over the phone. They often feel that they are able to speak more freely, especially about things they have a difficult time discussing with their friends and family.

All of the nurses on the other end of the phone are certified, or in the process of becoming certified, as MS nurses. This means that they must have a minimum of two years experience in MS and have passed a national certification exam. They are available to answer questions about MS, MS treatments, how to manage the cost of treatment, and they can help connect you with community resources. They make house calls as well! For patients on injectable medications, your MS nurse will not only be there for your first injection, but can revisit you if you are having frequent injection-site reactions, and will offer to do refresher training as needed. “We are on the front lines, and work hard everyday to improve the lives of our patients,” Denise stated.

To speak with an MS Nurse, you can contact your pharmaceutical company’s patient support program. Below I’ve listed contact information for these programs:

Aubagio, Lemtrada (Sanofi Genzyme)
MS One to One 

Avonex, Plegridy, Tecfidera, Tysabri, Zinbryta (Biogen)
Above MS

Betaseron (Bayer)
BETA

Copaxone (Teva)
Shared Solutions

Extavia (Novartis)
Extavia Go

Gilenya (Novartis)
Gilenya Go Program

Glatopa (Sandoz – a Novartis company)
GlatopaCare

Rebif
MS Lifelines

 Article by:  photo of writerStephanie Buxhoeveden MSCN, FNP-BC Stephanie is a nurse practitioner who was diagnosed with MS at age 25. Shortly after being diagnosed she realized she could use her experiences as a patient to make a difference in the lives of others, so she became a multiple sclerosis certified nurse. Stephanie completed her master’s in nursing at Rutgers University, and now specializes in the care of people with MS and other neurological diseases.

Her blog, www.justkeepsmyelin.com, offers a unique perspective on MS from both a healthcare provider’s point of view, and through the eyes of a person living with the disease every day. Her mission is to bring compassion, humor, and a deeper understanding of MS to anyone who reads it. She also writes forMultipleSclerosis.net, MSFocus Magazine, serves as a District Activist Leader for the National MS Society and is on the membership committee of iConquerMS.

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