When choosing between the single use autoinjector Rebif Rebidose or the reusable autoinjector Rebiject II, patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) found both easy to very easy to use, according to the results of a study. A higher number of the patients reported a preference for the single-use autoinjector Rebif Rebidose when accounting for overall satisfaction, but the difference was not significant.
These findings may help clinicians find the best match between device and patient in order to increase adherence to treatment and, consequently, effectiveness.
The study “Ease of use of two autoinjectors in patients with multiple sclerosis treated with interferon beta-1a subcutaneously three times weekly: results of the randomized, crossover REDEFINE study” was published in the journal Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery.
The Phase 4 trial REDEFINE (NCT02019550) assessed and compared the ease-of-use of two autoinjector devices for interferon beta-1a — the Rebif Rebidose and the reusable Rebiject II, both developed by EMD Serono — in patients with RRMS.
Patients were randomized to two treatment groups: group A received Rebif Rebidose followed by Rebiject II, and group B the reverse (Rebiject II and then Rebif Rebidose).
Both therapies were delivered as a 44 microgram (mcg) dose of interferon beta-1a injected subcutaneously (under the skin) three times a week using Rebif Rebidose and the Rebiject II self-injector device.
The study’s main goal was to assess the percentage of patients rating each device as “easy/very easy to use” with/without regard to previous device experience, via a user trial questionnaire at week 4 and at week 8.
Of 97 randomized patients, 29.9 percent (29 patients) had experience with manual injection of Rebif, 23.7 percent (23 patients) had used the single autoinjector Rebif Rebidose, and 46.4 percent (45 patients) the reusable autoinjector Rebiject II. A total of 93 patients completed the study.
The results of the questionnaire showed no significant differences between the two auto-injectors, as a similar percentage of patients found both devices as “very easy or easy to use” — 68.4 percent versus 77.9 percent for single-use autoinjector Rebif Rebidose and for the reusable Rebiject II, respectively.
Evaluating the devices for the “very easy to use” category showed that a higher number of patients favored the single-use autoinjector Rebif Rebidose over the reusable device Rebiject II. But, once again, the difference didn’t reach statistical significance – 40.0 percent versus 29.5 percent, respectively.
The trial also evaluated additional parameters, such as overall satisfaction with the injection device, amount of time to complete an injection, the number of steps needed to complete an injection, and convenience, among others.
Although these parameters were not tested for statistical significance, when researchers analyzed patients’ responses for the most favorable category – set as “strongly agree” – they observed a preference toward the single-use autoinjector Rebif Rebidose over the reusable autoinjector Rebiject II.
The devices showed no differences in patients’ quality of life.
Overall, “most patients found both autoinjectors easy or very easy to use. Having two viable options may help accommodate patient preferences. Ease of administration and patient satisfaction relates to adherence; satisfied patients may more likely be adherent,” the study team concluded.