Treatment Preferences for Relapsing-Remitting MS Among Physicians, Patients

JUNE 01, 2016
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick
neurology, multiple sclerosis, relapsing-remitted multiple sclerosis, pharmacy, disease-modifying treatment, DMT, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Center, CMSC 2016There are various disease-modifying treatment (DMT) options for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). But how much do neurologists and patients agree on the first-line course?

Efficacy, safety, tolerability, and convenience are all factors to take into consideration when choosing treatment for any health condition. A collaborative team analyzed this topic as it applies to RRMS and revealed their findings in a poster session at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Center (CMSC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

“Knowledge of preferred attributes for first-line selection from the patient and neurologist perspective can help to better inform communication around treatment decision making,” the researchers explained. Spoiler alert: Often times, physicians and patients agree on treatment.

To understand both parties’ preferences, the researchers recruited 193 adult patients with RRMS and 225 neurologists with three to 35 years post-residency. All participants were asked to choose their most and least preferred preferences on the following items:
  • Efficacy parameters (slow disability progression, prevent new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) lesions, reduce frequency of relapses)
  • Risk of serious side effects
  • Tolerability
  • Routes of administration (oral, injectable, infusion)
  • Cost
  • Neurologist recommendation (patient preference for neurologists)
Among both patients and neurologists, efficacy was the most preferred and parenteral drug administration (injectable) was the least preferred. When it came to disease activity, both groups rated the most to least important areas in the same order: slowing disability progression, decreased frequency of relapses, and preventing new MRI lesions. Physicians showed a key interest in side effects as well.

These preferences were similar in the patient population despite varying age, sex, education, insurance, and RRMS severity.

These results indicate that both physicians and patients prioritize treatment efficacy at the top of the list when it comes to choosing a course of therapy.

Also on MD Magazine >>> More News from the CMSC 2016 Annual Meeting

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