Biogen’s ‘1MSg Campaign’ Encourages MS Patients to Better Manage Their Disease, Engage with Specialists

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multiple sclerosis

Biogen is launching an initiative developed with the assistance of clinical experts — the 1MSg campaign — to educate and encourage multiple sclerosis (MS) patients to make disease management decisions that are well-informed and based on the latest scientific research.

The campaign’s motto is “Take control, known your choices,” and one of its main objectives is to highlight the benefits of regular and quality medical supervision by MS specialists. The campaign’s website includes educational materials, which will also be distributed in general practitioner (GP) offices and MS centers around the U.K., and videos from leading MS specialists.

This proactive campaign is a response to a survey, conducted by Opinion Health on behalf of Biogen, that asked 100 neurologists and nurses about MS patients’ behavior and disease management habits. Results found that a full 93 percent of MS health professionals believe too few patients are taking advantage of available MS services, and missing out on access to new medicines, symptom control, and holistic services.

The poll also revealed that 97 percent believe that some patients could benefit from reconsidering how they are managing their condition in light of the most recent developments in MS therapy and management. Moreover, according to seven in 10 specialists, people with MS are discouraged from maintaining and seeking contact with disease specialists and services because of a lack of understanding about the clinical consequences of not being proactive with their disease.

The clinical benefits of early intervention are especially significant in a disease like MS, whose progression often leads to increased symptom severity and disability. Moreover, MS progression is highly variable among patients and can be unpredictable, so monitoring of its evolution, through tools like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), is important.

Specialists agree that the main benefits of regular engagement with MS services are access to ongoing education for better disease understanding, advice on the management of MS symptoms, regular monitoring of disease progression and relapses, and regular reviews and advice on treatment options and relapse management.

Dr. Martin Duddy, a consultant neurologist and MS specialist, said in a press release, “We know there are a significant number of people with MS who have lost touch with their specialist support team. The danger is that they may be missing out on treatments and care that could help to change the trajectory of their disease, preventing relapses and slowing down progression and disability. The way we manage the condition has changed a great deal. This includes the support services we offer such as occupational therapy or dietetics, how we control or treat symptoms, how much we understand about the disease and its progression through technology such as MRI, and what we’re able to offer in terms of treatments to help alter the course of the disease. I want to encourage all people living with MS to regularly see a member of their local MS team.”

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Margarida graduated with a BS in Health Sciences from the University of Lisbon and a MSc in Biotechnology from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-UL). She worked as a molecular biologist research associate at a Cambridge UK-based biotech company that discovers and develops therapeutic, fully human monoclonal antibodies.
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  1. Patricia Browne says:

    Please don’t assume people with MS are not proactive with our care. You talk as if MS centers have all members of a “team” of doctors & other health professionals at the MS facility. I have been to four MS centers in New York & am frustrated because all I hear is the same thing. “We don’t know”. The care is nothing. Medications that’s what it’s all about. My current “center” they don’t even draw blood for you. You have to go elsewhere. There is no Physical Therapy there, you have to go somewhere else. There is no social worker on premises and if u want one you call them yourself. No one tells you any real viable information about any results of any tests except if you have more lesions, or new ones, they can tell you where they are but are sketchy about what symptoms they would give you. I am not impressed with MS Centers that I have been to. So how can you really be proactive if everything they want you to do is run all over the place to different facilities! Don’t they know we have MS??

    • (Mary) Keiran Murphy says:

      Thanks, Patricia: you said it better than me. I don’t know how I’m supposed to know the newest thing available when (reading up on things), I ask my MS doctor, and she’s predictably cautious. She doesn’t tell me about what studies look promising even when I ask about them. I can understand the caution of a person in the medical sciences, but I’m hoping that the doctors – the experts – are the ones to help me with this; not me running around trying to get the info, and trying to understand it.

  2. Bonnie says:

    this is finishing my comment. You do not seek a new doctor unless you are dissatisfied with your current doctor among other reasons. It usually takes 3-6 months to get an appointment with a MS specialist in Houston for a new patient. No one calls you back if there were any cancellations. Perhaps this is a gatekeeper problem. It is my opinion, that we are not utilitzing what is available to us, but that there is fustration and it is not addressed.

    May I conclude with the comment that I know there are compassionate doctors. I understand that they can not take unlimited time with everyone, but perhaps they can LISTEN better and not assume, that we do not know what our bodies are telling us or how we feel and why things have changed from the last time. A TWO WAY DIALOGUE MAY PRODUCE MORE FRUIT AND HEALING.

  3. Bonnie says:

    The first half of my comment disappeared and this is a synopsis.
    I live in Houston TX and have had a similar experience as Patricia.While we can opine why doctors have seemed to have lost the ability to really interact with patients, it seems like the the big players such as the pharmacies and the medical system itself prevails. That would probably take a dissertation.
    I have been given at times a a virtual litany of drugs available with no mention of what they are for, no side effects or alternatives. Perhaps this should take additional dialogue when physical exercise or diet may be just as effective. I think we have all arrived at the conclusion, that there is no magic bullet for that which ails you. The MS medical community generally does not address the effect of diet or some otc supplements such as Vitamine D3, etc., ad infinitum.
    Many times no diagnosis is given, only drugs for the symptoms. I have observed the refusal of neurologists to cooperate with physicians from other specialites, when the MS may be the primary cause of the other system failure.
    However to the all the doctors that have been there or helped, I extend my gratitude.

  4. Steve says:

    Neurologists telling big pharma that patients aren’t doing enough to manage their conditions?? Pfft. All seems a bit ripe to me. Whose interests are Biogen servicing with this initiative?

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