Economics of Multiple Sclerosis

Financial Burden of MS in the United States

The American Academy of Neurology estimated the cost of multiple sclerosis (MS) to be about $86 billion annually and that the “excess medical costs represent 74% of the overall economic burden.” “Prescription medications were the largest component with $37.9 billion or 54% of direct medical costs.” That amounts to $65,612 in annual medical expenses for each MSer. I don’t know about you, but that sounds about right for me. In a bad year, my medical bills can breach $100,000. Fortunately, I haven’t had a horrible year since I left my career on medical disability in 2011. It’s incredible how stress reduction can lighten the MS load, or at least, it did for me.

“Total economic burden of MS in the United States is more than $85 billion,” including lost wages or employment opportunities and lost income for caregivers who leave work to assist an MSer.

Image by Tara Winstead

Author Melissa Cook’s Personal Note

Sometimes, life is just good to me. I met a wonderful woman – Stephanie Weed – when I spoke on the radio show Speak Your Peace about my book with Mac Watson in February 2022. Stephanie is the publisher of the “Cody Living Magazine,” and she loved The Call of the Last Frontier so much that she asked me to come into the radio station to meet with her. The result of our meeting is this feature article, “Back Home after their 20 year Alaska Adventure, Melissa & Elgin Cook.”

Thank you, Stephanie Weed. I appreciate the opportunity to be “Cody Living Magazine’s” June 2022 feature article, and I look forward to crossing paths with you as friends in the future. You are one sweet lady!

You can also see the magazine on my author page:

Upcoming Events

June 30, 2022Must Read Alaska – 9:30-10:00 am Alaska Time – Guest to talk about my book on YouTube –

September 13, 2022 – Red Lodge Library – Author Talk


American Academy of Neurology. “Total economic burden of MS in United States is more than $85 billion.” ScienceDaily. (accessed June 27, 2022).

Weed, Stephanie. “Back Home after their 20-year Alaskan Adventure.” Cody Living Magazine. June 2022.

Winstead, Tara. Image of Money. (accessed June 29, 2022).

About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.