People with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in Denmark show high rates of adherence to treatment with Gilenya (fingolimod), and give the therapy high marks in terms of satisfaction and quality of life, a long-term study of its use by RRMS patients reports.
The study, “High treatment adherence, satisfaction, motivation, and health-related quality of life with fingolimod in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis – results from a 24-month, multicenter, open-label Danish study,” was published in the journal Patient Preference and Adherence.
Adherence to medication — how well a patient uses a treatment as prescribed — is a major issue for people with chronic diseases. Among MS patients, rates of adherence to disease-modifying therapies are reported to range from a low of 28% to as high as 88%.
Neurologists consider adherence key to good health outcomes, and several studies show that those who use medications as prescribed have a lower risk of relapses, and subsequently fewer hospitalizations or medical visits.
Gilenya, marketed by Novartis, is the first oral disease-modifying therapy approved to RRMS.
Researchers conducted a 24-month, multicenter study to determine rates of treatment adherence to Gilenya among 195 RRMS patients in Denmark, as well as patients’ self-reported satisfaction, motivation, and health-related quality of life (QoL). Adherence was determined by pill count.
They also looked at the effect a motivational support program, conducted as an interview, had on patient adherence.
A very high adherence to Gilenya treatment was seen throughout the study, they reported. In fact, adherence to Gilenya before the motivational interview was 99%, and 97% after the motivational interview, a difference not considered statistically significant.
Patient responses to the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication 9 (TSQM-9) also showed a high level of treatment satisfaction, with Gilenya earning the highest score in the convenience domain of the questionnaire. The treatment also ranked well on questions pertaining to QoL and patient motivation in using Gilenya.
“High levels of treatment adherence, satisfaction, motivation, and QoL were observed in Danish RRMS patients treated with Fingolimod,” the researchers concluded. In fact, positive patient satisfaction and adherence to Gilenya were “observed at all … visits” throughout the two-year study, so that “no effects of a motivational interview support program could be demonstrated.”