It's pretty easy to qualify, but you'll have to do the legwork yourself.
Don't focus on the sticker shock. No one pays those quoted prices. Politics aside, call the different patient services (like Shared Solutions). They all have patient assistance programmes. If you find getting organised (finding the numbers, knowing who to call, etc.), contact your local chapter of the MS Society. It's part of their fundamental purview to help people in your situation, whether through advice or advocacy.
I understand your horror/amazement. Most of the treatment drugs cost the big bucks, at least on paper. $50-$60 thou a year and always rising. My co-pay is very modest, though, so personally I can't complain. Most people posting here also have decent copays, not outrageous.
Most or maybe all the drug makers offer deals making some of their drugs actually free. I would research this asap. They usually won't fund a patient whose insurance is from medicare, medicaid or some other government entity, but if you're not in these groups you should be good to go. I suggest you confer with your neuro and get an idea of what you might want, say 2 or 3 choices, then contact the companies and find out what they offer.
Yes the medication cost is outrageous. These companies develop cancer , MS, and other serious illness drugs because they know they have a captive audience. The rest of their business is in generics and ripping off each others patents. They fight hard against patent infringement on these drugs.
The reality is disability is way more expensive. If you have to have a high power motorized wheelchair it might cost $24,000 and medicare covers $2-3,000. Then there is the van not covered by insurance, rehabing the house, ramps and such. Extra nursing care. The list goes on.
Medicaid will pay for the medications but not wheelchairs and such. Besides few people qualify for medicaid anymore. It is a real shame.
Many MS activists are working state to state have a cap on these medications. North Carolina is doing better than most states at keeping the costs down.
I used to seriously freak out about the cost of MS and worry about the future. I thought how can I put my husband through the money it costs to have MS. I now have Ovarian Cancer which is at least $100, 00 a month. I do not qualify for Medicare. I will be on chemo for the rest of my life. I no longer worry it went to the ridiculous and I just stopped worrying. I will be in debt the rest of my life and then after. Medicine in this country is expensive. I feel sorry for those with Cancer with out insurance.
The drug companies know we have few options. Most of these drugs are developed in other countries or by foreign companies so the research and development argument is bogus. The US alone spends more on these drugs than does all the other countries in the world combined. Most of these drugs are manufactured in third world countries. My Teva migraine medicine is made in India. Years ago they called Copaxone their goose that lays the golden eggs to their share holders. Their oral did not work out so they rely on Copaxone sales.
It is totally maddening. Things won't change until Americans get the laws changed. A State Legislature can put caps on what the consumer has to pay for these drugs. That is why I got into advocacy.