According to the ALS Association, ALS disease affects 5,600 people in the United States each year. ALS disease can attack anyone. This disease attacks the nerve cells in the brain. It can happen at any given time during adulthood.
A 1 January 2008 report shows that revenue from all sources was $15,156,896 for the ALS Association. The National Association and its affiliates collected a total of $50,142,154 during fiscal year 2008. Total expenditures for the fiscal year 2008 were $18,994,834.Windes and McClaughry conducted this independent audit.
Medicare covers the cost of skilled (i.e. administering medication, giving shots, and patient documentation etc.,) nursing care but do not cover the cost of custodial care (i.e. clothing, equipment, bathing, and etc.,) the family has to provide money for these services.
The financial impact of ALS is very significant on the average patient. The equipment that is needed to assist the patient may cost $130,000 during the time they are sick. Patients are responsible for their own transportation to various medical facilities. There are some treatments that can cost as much as $7,500.
ALS is now being treated with a drug called riluzole (Rilutek). The ALS website states that this drug was developed to reduce the symptoms of the disease.
Lou Gehrig, Lead Belly, and Michael Zaslow all died from this disease also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Some patients with the disease may pressure their doctor to assist them with a suicide procedure.
ALS Association www.alsa.org
Hope for Joy www.hopeforjoy.ca/cost-of-als
New England Journal of Medicine (Abstract) www.nejm.org
Windes & McClaughry www.windes.com