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On February 28, 2005 the manufacturers of Tysabri, Biogen Idec and Elan Corporation, announced the voluntary suspension of the Multiple Sclerosis drug from the market and from all clinical trials.  According to the companies’ press release:

This decision is based on very recent reports of two serious adverse events that have occurred in patients treated with TYSABRI in combination with AVONEX (Interferon beta-la) in clinical trials.  These events involve one fatal, confirmed case and one suspected case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and frequently fatal, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system.  Both patients received more than two years of TYSABRI therapy in combination with AVONEX.

According to the press release, concerned patients and physicians should call 1-888-489-7227.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy has an agreement with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to help MS Society staff better understand Medicare and to help people with MS obtain the Medicare coverage to which they are entitled for necessary health care. The Center is providing in-house, audio, and web-based training, written and web-based information, and advocacy services for the National MS Society, its Information & Referral Center, and other staff members.  For more information about this collaboration, please contact attorney Terry Berthelot at (860) 456-7790 or spaces). 

For direct assistance with Medicare issues for people with MS, contact the MS Information and Referral Center.  Call 1 (800) FIGHT MS, or visit "Information and Referral" in the "Client Services" section of your local chapter's website.  Click HERE to find your local chapter.

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