Gilenya Tied to Treatment Satisfaction, Quality of Life in MS Patients

Ashraf Malhas, PhD avatar

by Ashraf Malhas, PhD |

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Treatment with Gilenya (fingolimod) is associated with treatment satisfaction, which, in turn, is linked to a better quality-of-life in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a study has found.

Gilenya, an oral disease-modifying treatment (DMT) for RRMS developed by Novartis, has been available in France since 2011. Studies have shown that the use of oral DMTs by MS patients is associated with higher treatment satisfaction than the use of injectable treatments, such as interferon-β. Treatment satisfaction, in turn, is associated with adherence to medication and greater quality-of-life (QoL).

In the study “Treatment satisfaction and quality of life in patients treated with fingolimod,” published in the journal Patient Preference and Adherence, researchers aimed to evaluate treatment satisfaction and QoL in MS patients being treated with Gilenya in France.

The study recruited 54 French neurologists who were asked to survey up to six RRMS patients each. Patients were required to have taken Gilenya for at least six months, and to have received at least one previous immunomodulatory treatment before that. A total of 214 patients satisfying these criteria were recruited for the study.

The information collected included the completion of questionnaires regarding data on therapeutic education, socio-demographic data, adverse events, side effects, effectiveness of treatment, QoL, convenience, general satisfaction, pain, depression, and mobility.

The mean age of patients was 41.6 years and 73.4% of them were female. Mean disease duration was nine years, and mean duration of treatment with Gilenya was 22.4 months.

Most patients (90.2%) reported “very or quite good” hospitalization experiences during their hospital visit for the first dose of Gilenya; 76.6% had the opportunity to discuss Gilenya treatment with hospital staff, while 35.1% had not received further information regarding disease or treatment from healthcare professionals.

Upon analyzing the questionnaires, researchers found that factors associated with a high general satisfaction level included “very good perception of the initial hospitalization” and “having the opportunity to discuss MS with hospital staff” during the initial hospitalization for Gilenya initiation.

Treatment with Gilenya also was associated with patients reporting an improvement in their overall QoL (72.4% of patients), and an improved capacity to plan for the future (62.1% of patients).

Overall, patients who were satisfied with their treatment were most likely to report improvement in their QoL.

Based on the results, the team concluded that treatment with Gilenya, as well as informing patients about their disease and treatment, are associated with patient satisfaction, and that satisfaction is associated with better QoL.

“For this reason, treating neurologists need to be aware of the importance of developing a dialogue with patients on knowledge and expectations about their disease and its treatment. In the case of treatment with fingolimod, hospitalization for the first dose provides an opportunity to engage in such a dialogue.”

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