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.”