Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in Canada are more likely to comply with their treatment plan and less likely to discontinue the use of the oral disease-modifying treatment Gilenya (fingolimod), compared to injectable or infusible treatment options, new research shows.
The research article with that finding, “A retrospective claims analysis: Compliance and discontinuation rates among Canadian patients with multiple sclerosis treated with disease-modifying therapies,” was published in the journal PLOS One.
Disease-modifying therapies are effective in reducing the frequency and severity of relapses, or in delaying disability progression in MS patients.
In Canada, a total of 14 disease-modifying treatments have been approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), with first- and second-line therapies available. However, the real effectiveness of those therapies can vary greatly, being affected by patient compliance rates (the frequency at which patients follow their prescribed medical treatment plan).
Evidence suggests that self-injectable disease-modifying treatments have poor compliance rates and high discontinuation rates. However, oral disease-modifying treatments, such as Gilenya, have shown higher compliance rates and lower discontinuation rates.
But there has not been a direct comparison of compliance and discontinuation rates of these different disease-modifying treatments among RRMS patients.
So, a team led by researchers at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada and Notre-Dame Hospital, Université de Montréal, Canada, conducted a retrospective study on the compliance and discontinuation rates of MS disease-modifying treatments available in Canada. (Of note, Novartis is the developer of Gilenya.)
Using highly detailed claims data from insurers, researchers identified RRMS patients who had at least one prescription filled for a disease-modifying treatment. They examined compliance and discontinuation rates at various time points (6, 12, and 24 months) following the initial claim.
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