World MS day: Focusing on member health helps everyone
Helping people facing MS, like Prime member Julie, to get the medicine they need to feel better and live well is just the start.
World MS (multiple sclerosis) Day is recognized the last Wednesday of May every year. It brings together the global MS community to share stories, raise awareness and drive advocacy.
Many Prime members are faced with the complicated reality of managing MS every day. Prime helps members manage their condition, so they can feel better and live well. This approach helps clients, too, because when members are managing their health, they’re less likely to have costly complications.
Julie’s story: “Until they say you have MS, you don’t believe it.”
Julie S., a member of Prime Therapeutics Specialty Pharmacy™, has been living with MS since 2001. When it started, she felt numbness in her legs and stomach. Like many people, she ignored her symptoms at first. Then a few days later, her legs gave out while she was running.
After many months of inconclusive tests, Julie finally received a formal MS diagnosis. Julie admittedly “lost it.” “Until they say ‘you have MS,’ you don’t believe it,” she said. “I thought, I’m not going to walk. I’m not going to be able to do what I want to do. Then I thought, you are done feeling sorry for yourself — now do something about it.”
In consultation with her doctor, Julie first chose a weekly intramuscular injection to treat the MS. For the first few years, Julie didn’t tell anyone about her diagnosis. “I told my family and a few close friends,” she said. “I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, especially at work. I didn’t want it to impact how people perceived me or my performance.”
Julie has made lifestyle adjustments to help manage the condition in addition to following the drug therapy regimen prescribed by her doctor.
The medicine she gets through Prime Specialty Pharmacy is an important part of managing the disease, and she takes comfort in knowing her medicine will arrive when it’s supposed to — so it can work as it’s supposed to. Taking charge of managing MS has helped Julie stay positive. “Dwelling on [having the disease] doesn’t get you anywhere. It’s a good reminder to appreciate what you have. Every day I can wake up and walk, it’s a good day. And I celebrate all those days.
“It’s cool to see the advances in medicine and research,” she added. “Maybe the future of MS really is, mystery solved.”
Helping members and clients manage MS
Prime centers MS management on the patient. It’s a complex condition, and taking the medicines used to treat it can be complicated. We offer members the tools and expert support needed to take their medicine as prescribed, supporting optimal health outcomes. We also use programs such as utilization management and medical drug review to manage costs across the medical and pharmacy benefit. These programs help make sure the right people are getting the right medicine at the right time in the right care setting.
Working with the MS Society to work toward a world without MS
Prime is proud to sponsor and participate in annual events with the National MS Society, including the MS 150, On the Move Luncheon, Traveling Turkeys program, Walk MS, general research donations and MS MuckFest. In 2015, more than 375 employees participated in a MS event, and Prime donated nearly $57,200 thanks to the success of our Week of Giving campaign.
About Prime Therapeutics
Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) helps people get the medicine they need to feel better and live well. Prime manages pharmacy benefits for health plans, employers, and government programs including Medicare and Medicaid. The company processes claims and delivers medicine to members, offering clinical services for people with complex medical conditions. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., Prime serves nearly 26 million people. It is collectively owned by 13 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, subsidiaries or affiliates of those plans. Prime has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation.
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