In November of 2009, then, 35 year old Ali Salama was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system and affects nearly half-a-million Americans .
Ali was shocked when she was given the news
"You read about it, you obviously, go on websites, you see that people are in wheelchairs and how mobility becomes more difficult, theres vision issues, so all those things run through your mind.... what's the treatment and I have a big fear of needles so the options for treatment were obviously a challenge for me." said Ali Salama.
"We've been primarily using injectable medications. Medicines that the patient uses themselves. these of course have been uncomfortable, to say the least, and modestly effective." said Ali Salama.
Ali would ask Dr. Miller if there were any new oral medications available during each appointment. After 3 years of disappointment and needles her wish finally came true
"I think I high-fived him, I was really excited about it because I knew that it would change my routine and emotionally and mentally... giving myself the injection reminds me that I have MS everyday when I otherwise don't feel that I am sick." said Ali Salama.
Aubagio was FDA-approved in September of 2012 as a new once-daily, oral treatment for patients with relapsing forms of MS.
"On average people who take that medication have approximately a one-third reduction in the frequency of their relapses or MS attacks. And in addition they have a significantly lower chance of developing a progressive neurological disability." said Aaron Miller, M.D. of the Mount Sinai Medical Center
For ALI, this new drug is a game charger.
"To just not have to plan every other night when I do the shot and not have the pain or the tears every time I do it will be a life changing thing for me."