9 Resources to Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety

You really don’t need to check the CDC’s website again. You probably do need a break, though.
Take a breath and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve successfully managed to look away from breaking news long enough to find some resources that might actually help with your stress.
That’s no easy thing right now.
Experts are recommending social distancing and self-quarantine to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), sending most of us into isolation.
It makes sense if you haven’t been doing much at all except ruminating on updates about the virus and the availability of toilet paper.
So what can you do about your coronavirus anxiety?
I’m glad you asked, because I’ve collected a whole list of tools to help your mental health during the COVID-19 scare.
This list could also apply to any moment when breaking news headlines are all-consuming and hard to look away from.
Think of it this way: Reducing your stress is actually one of the best ways you can deal with this crisis. Too much stress can hurt your immunity and your mental health.
Plus, you just plain deserve to finally feel some relief after spiraling through your anxieties for this long.

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First things first: There’s nothing wrong with you for feeling anxious right now.
Ignoring the stress or judging yourself for feeling it is tempting, but it probably won’t help in the end.
Acknowledging your feelings — even if they’re scary — can help you cope in a healthy way.
And I’ve got news for you: You’re not the only one who’s freaking out. The news is legitimately frightening, and fear is a normal, natural response.
You’re not alone.
If you’re already living with a chronic illness, then COVID-19 might be especially frightening. And if you’re living with a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder, then the constant barrage of headlines might have you on the edge of feeling like you’re losing control.
There are plenty of resourcesTrusted Source out there about how to directly deal with coronavirus anxiety, and it’s important to have those strategies in your toolbox when you need them.
But for this list, we’re going to take a break from all of that.
Because science shows that taking a breather can help interrupt your anxiety, reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and even retrain your brain to change unhelpful thinking patterns.
Which is all the more reason to be proud of yourself for ending up here, where all you have to do is sit back, click through some helpful tools, and finally take a break from that haunting sense of impending doom.
These tools alone aren’t going to fix everything, and it’s a good idea to reach out for professional help if you’re really struggling to keep your anxiety under control.
But I hope these apps and websites can give you a moment to break the cycle of headline stress, if even for a moment.
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Bristol Myers Squibb Receives Positive CHMP Opinion Recommending Approval of ZEPOSIA® (ozanimod) for the Treatment of Adult Patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis with Active Disease | Small Molecules | News Channels - PipelineReview.com

Bristol Myers Squibb Receives Positive CHMP Opinion Recommending Approval of ZEPOSIA® (ozanimod) for the Treatment of Adult Patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis with Active disease

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PRINCETON, NJ, USA I March 27, 2020 IBristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency has adopted a positive opinion for ZEPOSIA® (ozanimod) for the treatment of adult patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) with active disease as defined by clinical or imaging features. ZEPOSIA is an oral, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator that binds with high affinity selectively to S1P subtypes 1 (S1P1) and 5 (S1P5). The CHMP recommendation will now be reviewed by the European Commission, which has the authority to approve medicines for the European Union.

“This positive CHMP opinion reinforces that ZEPOSIA has the potential to become an important treatment option for patients with Relapsing Remitting MS with active disease. There remains a need for effective and safe therapies that impact both the relapses and brain lesions that are characteristic of this disease,” said Samit Hirawat, M.D., chief medical officer, Bristol Myers Squibb. “We look forward to the European Commission’s decision and the potential to bring ZEPOSIA to patients in the EU.”

The CHMP adopted the positive opinion based on data from the randomized, active-controlled Phase 3 SUNBEAM™ and RADIANCE™ Part B clinical trials, which enrolled more than 2,600 patients across 150 sites in more than 20 countries. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ZEPOSIA for the treatment of adults with relapsing forms of Multiple Sclerosis (RMS) on March 25, 2020.

About SUNBEAM™

SUNBEAM is a pivotal, phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, active-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy, safety and tolerability of two doses of oral ZEPOSIA (0.92 mg and 0.46 mg, equivalent to 1 mg and 0.5 mg ozanimod HCI, respectively) against weekly intramuscular AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a) for at least a 12-month treatment period. The study included 1,346 people living with RMS across 152 sites in 20 countries.

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Muir scion helps bring 'access' to Suisun Marsh setting - Fairfield Daily Republic

SUISUN CITY — Michael Muir has not let a diagnoses of Multiple Sclerosis stop him from enjoying the outdoors, even if it is from his wheelchair.

The 68-year-old’s love of horses keeps him ticking along just fine. Over the past 55 years, he has represented the United States four times in world and international championship carriage driving competitions, winning medals and championship honors in Germany, Austria, France and Great Britain.

He also founded Access Adventure in 2005, enriching the lives of people with disabilities, injured veterans, at-risk youth, senior citizens and children with special needs. His program provides the opportunity for therapy through educational, outdoor activities.

The program also provides people with disabilities of all ages the opportunity to ride and learn about recreational carriage driving and therapeutic driving. Access Adventure provides youth programs and specialized educational opportunities relating to preservation, ecology, wildlife habitat and rangeland management.

His work doesn’t stop there. He breeds the Stonewall Sporthorses at Rush Ranch headquarters on Grizzly Island Road, which has created a livelihood for him and an adventure far beyond what he could have dreamed.

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My Top 3 Drug Stocks to Buy in the Market Crash - The Motley Fool

Drug stocks are tumbling as investors worry about how the coronavirus outbreak may impact their operations. The pandemic, which is halting a great part of the world economy, may also slow clinical trials, drug development, and drug manufacturing. In spite of these near-term -- and temporary -- disruptions, the following three pharma stocks are bargains today considering future revenue prospects.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Sanofi

Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) has been making headlines for its work on coronavirus treatment and prevention. While any success there would be a plus, my attention is on products with more potential for long-term growth. Sanofi must find ways to compensate for declines in older blockbuster drugs. Diabetes drug Lantus is a good example. The drug used to generate $7 billion annually, but competition from biosimilars and other new drugs has halved that figure.

New CEO Paul Hudson's strategy involves a shift into higher growth areas. He ended Sanofi's diabetes and cardiovascular research, and in January, Sanofi completed the acquisition of immuno-oncology company Synthorx. The French drugmaker also is betting on eczema drug Dupixent, and in the latest earnings report said the drug is on its way to the goal of generating peak sales of $11 billion. In the fourth quarter, Dupixent sales surged 135% and annual sales soared 152% to $2.3 billion. Sanofi shares are down 18% so far this year, offering a decent entry point to bet on the company's transformation.

2. Novartis

What I like most about Novartis (NYSE:NVS) right now is the fact that it started the year with more newly approved drugs than any other big pharma company. The Food and Drug Administration approved five new Novartis drugs last year, and Novartis says each has blockbuster potential.

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Novartis CEO: Malaria drug is biggest hope against coronavirus - SonntagsZeitung - Reuters

ZURICH, March 29 (Reuters) - Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said his Sandoz generics unit’s malaria, lupus and arthritis drug hydroxychloroquine is the company’s biggest hope against the coronavirus, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday.

Novartis has pledged to donate 130 million doses and is supporting clinical trials needed before the medicine, which U.S. President Donald Trump also has been promoting, can be approved for use against the coronavirus.

Other companies including Bayer and Teva have also agreed to donate hydroxychloroquine or similar drugs, while Gilead Sciences is testing its experimental drug remdesivir against coronavirus.

“Pre-clinical studies in animals as well as the first data from clinical studies show that hydroxychloroquine kills the coronavirus,” Narasimhan told the newspaper. “We’re working with Swiss hospitals on possible treatment protocols for the clinical use of the drug, but it’s too early to say anything definitively.”

He said the company is currently looking for additional active drug ingredients to make more hydroxychloroquine, should clinical trials be successful.

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Ronald Eugene Cheatham - San Marcos Daily Record

As a public service, public health stories are free to Central Texans during the coronavirus crisis. Please support our local journalists by subscribing today. Call 512-392-2458.

Interested in submitting an obituary? Learn how to do so by clicking here.

Sun, 03/29/2020 - 12:00am

Born: June 24th, 1951 San Marcos, TX

Died: March 20th, 2020 Austin, TX

Attended Dunbar School, Graduate of San Marcos High School Attended New Mexico Highlands University

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Release of Zeposia POSTPONED

Release of Zeposia POSTPONED


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Emergency Assistance Grant application from MS Foundation


MS Focus' Emergency Assistance Grant provides full or partial financial assistance for urgent needs related to rentutilities, or medication
Disclaimer - MS Focus does not provide assistance with mortgage payments.
Funds are limited and restrictions apply. Applicants must provide documentation of the need, authorization for the program coordinator to communicate directly with the party to whom the money is owed, and a doctor's verification of their MS diagnosis. Please note: this is a one-time-use program. Individuals who have previously received help with rent, utilities, or medications through this program may not apply again. 
To learn more, call our National Toll-Free Helpline at 888-MS Focus (888-673-6287), email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or start your application now.

Before you complete the Online Application, review this checklist to make sure you have all required materials before submitting.


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Society-Supported Researchers Target Bile Acid Metabolism in People with MS: Clinical Trial Underway

March 23, 2020
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University report that levels of bile acids (produced by the liver to help the absorption of fats in the gut and other processes) may be reduced in people with MS, and especially in people with progressive MS. The team provides evidence that docking sites for these bile acids in brain cells are altered in people with MS; that bile acid signaling appears to reduce inflammatory activity of specific cells in the brain; and that administering bile acid supplements to mice with MS-like disease reduces disease severity. This team is now conducting a trial, funded by the National MS Society, of bile acid supplements in 60 people with progressive MS.


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People with MS may have abnormalities in the way they process energy and other maintenance activities (metabolism). One metabolic pathway identified by this team is bile acid metabolism. Bile acids can influence the composition of gut bacteria. Abnormalities in gut bacteria have been identified in people with MS and may be related to the observed abnormalities in bile acid metabolism.Bile acids can also interact with immune cells and brain cells and influence their function. In this study, the investigators examined tissue obtained from people with MS via autopsy, and found docking sites for bile acids on brain and immune cells, indicating that bile acids may modulate inflammation in the nervous system. The team administered a bile acid to cells isolated in lab dishes and found that it succeeded in blocking cells from promoting inflammation.Authors Drs. Pavan Bhargava and Kathryn Fitzgerald are funded by Career Transition Fellowships from the National MS Society.“Bile acid metabolism is altered in multiple sclerosis and supplementation ameliorates neuroinflammation” is published by Dr. Pavan Bhargava (Johns Hopkins University) and colleagues in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.


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Community Wellness Study for people affected by MS

Community Wellness Study for people affected by MS
PLENTY of spots available in the study. This is a 5 year study and our recruitment goal is 600 participants, and we have recruited ~170 participants so far (this is the Year 1 of the study).
  

Main Eligibility Criteria:
Telephone-based health/wellness coaching project  (so people can participate from anywhere in the U.S.)Adults ages 45-64 Living with a neuromuscular condition (such as MS, MD, SCI, Amputation) where symptoms started before the age of 40

For Further information on this study contact: 1.866.928.2114
 or send email to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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On Recklessness and the Coronavirus - What it’s like to be immunocompromised during a pandemic.

By Sharma Shields ---  March 25, 2020
MS. Shields is a fiction writer. - 


SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s likely I’ve always been this way, reckless with fear.

Even as a child I dived right into what terrified me, the dark basement, the cobwebbed underbrush. When I was told that I had Multiple Sclerosis almost seven years ago, I wanted to rush into the future and pull it down like rotten timber all around me. I was angry to be stuck in the present, with these common primary symptoms: numb feet, tingling legs, a fatigue I wore like a gown carved from stone.

It was infuriating not to know what could come next. Would I lose my ability to care for my children? Would I wind up bedridden, an invalid? I wanted to experience the whole course of my disease in one brutal stroke. I ached for control.As the coronavirus began to circle eastern Washington State, I was again gripped by the nail-biting unknowability of all that would come to pass. I considered writing a casual social media post, Any peeps with Covid-19 want to share a fondue? An email blast: All those with fevers, dry coughs, etc., are invited to my house for hot yoga in a windowless room. Or maybe a short drive to the hospital, where I could slip into the E.R. and rub my face against the pale blue privacy curtains.  

I know this sounds bonkers. These were irrational desires — the feeling that getting sick was the only way to stop worrying about getting sick.
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When the news came of school closures, my husband’s concern spilled over. He told me, bravely, “I don’t think you should go to work.”

I work in a small children’s bookstore called Wishing Tree Books: Pretty shelves, cheerful lilac walls, a sun-bright stained-glass window. Going to work calms my anxiety. The books sing quietly to me with their humming, word-stippled potential. The thought of losing this space upset me. The shop opened only in November. If everyone stayed home, how would this new small business — magical as it is — survive?

My husband stewed. Usually I’m the one stuck in an anxiety spiral and he’s the one who guides me out of it. This role reversal meant one thing: that what he asked of me was sensible, necessary, even, but I bucked against it, scowling.

“I’ll keep my distance from the customers. There are disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.” “You just had an infusion,” he reminded me.

“I’ll be careful,” I said, and the very thought of needing to be careful stoked my anger. I wanted to lick the counter-tops, nose the doorknobs.
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U.S. - FDA Approves Bristol Myers Squibb’s ZEPOSIA® (Ozanimod), a New Oral Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

In clinical trials, ZEPOSIA demonstrated efficacy on a key clinical marker of disease activity – annualized relapse rate (ARR) – as compared to AVONEX ® (interferon beta-1a)1 ,2,3
ZEPOSIA is a sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator that requires no label-based first dose observation 1
ZEPOSIA adds to Bristol Myers Squibb’s legacy immunology franchise and marks the first FDA-approved New Drug Application since the Celgene acquisition

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ZEPOSIA® (ozanimod) 0.92 mg for the treatment of adults with relapsing forms of Multiple Sclerosis (RMS), including Clinically Isolated Syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active Secondary Progressive disease.1 ZEPOSIA, an oral medication taken once daily, is the only approved sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator that offers RMS patients an initiation with no genetic test and no label-based first-dose observation required for patients.1,4,5 An up-titration scheme should be used to reach the maintenance dosage of ZEPOSIA, as a transient decrease in heart rate and atrioventricular conduction delays may occur.1

“With the FDA approval of ZEPOSIA, appropriate patients with relapsing forms of Multiple Sclerosis will have another oral treatment option with meaningful efficacy to help address the disease’s hallmark relapses and brain lesions,”9 said Samit Hirawat, M.D., chief medical officer, Bristol Myers Squibb. “ZEPOSIA has substantial clinical potential, and we are well positioned with our heritage in transformational science to ensure this innovative compound ultimately benefits as many patients as possible.”

The approval is based on data from the largest pivotal, head-to-head RMS studies with an active comparator to date: the randomized, active-controlled Phase 3 SUNBEAM™ (safety and efficacy of ZEPOSIA versus interferon beta-1a in relapsing Multiple Sclerosis) and RADIANCE™ (safety and efficacy of the selective sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator ZEPOSIA in relapsing Multiple Sclerosis) Part B clinical trials of more than 2,600 adults.1,2,3,10 In both trials – as compared to AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a), ZEPOSIA delivered powerful efficacy as measured by annualized relapse rate (ARR), as well as on the number and size of brain lesions.1,2,3

As the country’s healthcare system is dealing with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Bristol Myers Squibb has made the decision to delay commercialization of ZEPOSIA. The Company made the decision based on what’s in the best health interest of our patients, customers and employees. Bristol Myers Squibb will continue to monitor the environment and will partner with the neurology community to inform launch timing.


Many Should Appreciate Bristol Myers Squibb for their empathy toward ti current health crisis and holding off on the launch their first MS medication




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Nicotine Alliance pens UK government over India’s illegal vape seizures

March 23, 2020

The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) has written to the UK Government about a situation in India. The country that receives over three quarters of a million UK visitors every year has taken to confiscating legal vaping equipment. Despite a ban on the sale of vape equipment, the act of vaping remains legal – but Indian officials are not following the legislation.

The NNA is a registered UK charity staffed by consumer volunteers, formed to increase understanding about the benefits of “new” risk-reduced nicotine products and a better recognition of long-term recreational use of nicotine as a powerful incentive for smoking cessation. It has noted:

The Indian government has passed a law banning e-cigarettes, but it excludes personal consumption. The Indian Civil Aviation Ministry has misunderstood the law and is seizing and destroying the property of unsuspecting UK visitors.

Thousands of UK citizens potentially affected; the NNA has asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to update travel advice. The NNA states: “UK visitors to India who use e-cigarettes to improve their health on the advice of British health organisations are having their devices confiscated at airports.”

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Largest vape shop chain in Britain remains open during COVID-19 crisis

March 23, 2020

Britain’s largest vaping chain has vowed to keep its shops open amid the coronavirus crisis to stop ex-smokers turning back to cigarettes and is urging the Government not to close vape retailers in a lockdown.

VPZ, which has 155 outlets across the UK, said Britain must follow the lead of countries such as Italy and Spain by ensuring that vaping stores join the list of essential shops allowed to stay open in the event of a total lockdown, according to a story in the dailymail.

The Edinburgh-based group said ex-smokers could be put at significant risk of complications with Covid-19 if they end up relapsing on cigarettes because they are unable to buy vaping products.

This could put the NHS under unnecessary extra strain, VPZ said.

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Vape shop inspections suspended by US FDA due to COVID-19 concerns

March 23, 2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ended activities such as domestic compliance checks and vape shop inspections, the health regulator said, as its staff switch to teleworking amid the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak.

The health regulator has been scaling back domestic and foreign inspections in the wake of the outbreak, which has infected more than 227,700 people across 175 countries, based on a Reuters tally, according to a story on Reuters.com.

In the United States, the virus has infected over 10,000 people and caused 150 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for disease Control and Prevention.

The FDA has already temporarily deferred all domestic routine surveillance facility inspections and postponed most foreign inspections through April.

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Did HIV Drug Help in COVID-19?

The 24-hour news cycle is just as important to medicine as it is to politics, finance, or sports. At MedPage Today, new information is posted daily, but keeping up can be a challenge. As an aid for our readers and for a little amusement, here is a 10-question quiz based on the news of the week. Topics include COVID-19 treatment, surgery for chronic pain, and cannabinoids. After taking the quiz, scroll down in your browser window to find the correct answers and explanations, as well as links to the original articles.

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U.K. vapor industry asks government to keep vape shops open

March 20, 2020

The U.K. vapor industry is urging the government to keep vape stores open across the country, rather than forcing them to close as part of any intensification of its coronavirus containment strategy. Closing vapes stores, the industry argues, would be a potentially counterproductive move that could place further strain on the already overstretched National Health Service.

In an open letter to Nadhim Zahawi, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the U.K. Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), the largest trade body representing the vaping sector in the U.K., calls for vape shops in cities, towns and rural areas to stay open and be exempt from any government lockdown.

In the letter the UKVIA cites the experience of Italy, the country in Europe hit hardest by coronavirus so far and where the government reversed its decision to close vape stores as part of its containment program.

The letter to the British Minister reads: “We recognize and support the government’s intensified containment plan for the virus but would urge you and your colleagues to look at the example of Italy.

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Genetically modified neurons could enhance function of clinical implants

Genetically modified neurons could enhance function of clinical implants

By Sarah MooreMar 20 2020

A team of scientists at Stanford University has genetically reprogrammed neurons that could enhance the function of electrical implants used in a variety of clinical scenarios, such as in treating Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy or connecting nerve cells to prosthetics.

Image Credits: Andrii Vodolazhskyi / Shutterstock.com

Genetically modifying neurons

After many years of research, scientists have successfully demonstrated that they have a method of modifying neurons which would allow them to build artificial structures.

The basis of the method relies on genetically modifying specific types of nerve cells, causing them to produce conductive or insulating polymers on their surfaces, having the impact of changing their electrical properties. The innovation could be used to improve connections with implants, such as those used to control next-generation prosthetics, connecting them with the movement management areas of the brain so they can be controlled just as a natural limb would be.

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Mobility Support Devices for Secondary Progressive MS: Braces, Walking Devices, and More

Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) can cause a variety of symptoms, including dizziness, fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle tightness, and loss of sensation in your limbs.
Over time, these symptoms may affect your ability to walk. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), 80 percent of people with MS experience challenges walking within 10 to 15 years of developing the condition. Many of them can benefit from using a mobility support device, such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair.
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It may be time to consider using a mobility support device if you’ve been:
feeling unsteady on your feetlosing your balance, tripping, or falling frequentlystruggling to control the movements in your feet or legsfeeling very tired after standing or walkingavoiding certain activities because of mobility challenges
A mobility support device may help prevent falls, conserve your energy, and increase your activity level. This can help you enjoy better overall health and quality of life.
Take a moment to learn about some of the mobility support devices that may help you stay mobile with SPMS.
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Guidance for the use of disease modifying therapies during the COVID-19 pandemic

People with MS have asked for guidance on the use of disease Modifying Therapies (DMTs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are numerous recommendations circulating that attempt to provide clarity and guidance, however, differences among the recommendations have created confusion. DMT decision making varies significantly from country to country, ranging from highly provider-directed to a collaborative decision-making model.
The MS Coalition has endorsed global advice from the MS International Federation on DMT use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their recommendations provide detailed guidance for the initiation and continuation of DMTs
The MS Coalition has also endorsed recommendations from The National MS Society’s National Medical Advisory Committee, which believes DMT decisions should be individualized and made collaboratively between the person with MS and his/her healthcare provider.  These recommendations are:
People with MS should follow CDC guidelines and these additional recommendations for people at higher risk for serious illnesses from COVID-19.People with MS should continue disease modifying therapies (DMTs) and discuss specific risks with their MS healthcare provider prior to stopping a DMT.Before starting a cell depleting DMT* or a DMT that carries warnings of potentially severe increase in disability after stopping**, people with MS and their MS healthcare providers should consider specific risks (e.g. age, comorbid health conditions, location) and benefits.
We are continuing to monitor this quickly evolving situation and these recommendations may be modified as data becomes available.
* Cell depleting therapies include: Lemtrada, Mavenclad, Ocrevus and Rituxan (used off-label in MS)
** DMTs with a warning of potentially severe increase in disability after stopping include: Gilenya and Tysabri

*** Members of the MS Coalition include: Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis, Can Do MS, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses, MS Views and News, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and United Spinal Association


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