neurologists

Patients deem AI-based ChatGPT more empathetic than neurologists

When presented with medical information authored by neurologists or by ChatGPT, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) reported similar satisfaction with both, but said the artificial intelligence platform was more empathetic. That’s the result of the study, “ChatGPT vs. neurologists: a cross-sectional study investigating preference, satisfaction ratings…

US neurologists satisfied with current RRMS therapies: Report

Neurologists in the U.S. are largely satisfied with current treatment options for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), but opportunities remain for therapies in development, according to a new report by Spherix Global Insights. In the report series, called RealTime Dynamix: Multiple Sclerosis (U.S.), an ongoing survey of healthcare…

Adding Nursing Care in MS May Ease Patient Depression, Anxiety

Adding a specialized nurse practitioner (NP) to a neurologist-based standard care team was found to significantly lessen depression and anxiety in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to data from a six-month study in Canada. People with multiple sclerosis — dubbed “PwMS” by researchers — who received the add-on…

Upper Body Health Also Is Important for People With MS

My left hand was numb and weak when I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For years after that, symptoms above my waist seemed just as prevalent as those below it. Yet, there were no tests being used that measured my waist-up disability level — nothing equivalent to the…

Gilenya Remains Favorite S1P Receptor Modulator in US, But Zeposia May Catch Up, Survey Finds

Among oral sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulators for multiple sclerosis (MS), Novartis’s Gilenya (fingolimod) remains physicians’ favorite in the U.S., but prescriptions of recently-launched Bristol Myers Squibb’s Zeposia (ozanimod) are beginning to rise, according to a survey conducted by Spherix Global Insights. Also, COVID-19 not…

A Snapshot of COVID-19 and Disease-modifying Therapies

Are people with MS more susceptible than the average person to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19? And if COVID-19 attacks them, what’s the likely course of their illness? What about COVID-19 and disease-modifying therapies? Doctors from around the world are collecting information right now to try to answer these…

Ocrevus Use Still Growing in Europe But Challenges on Horizon, Spherix Reports

Prescriptions of Roche’s Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients initiating or switching a disease-modifying therapy (DMT) continue to rise in Europe, according to a survey conducted by Spherix Global Insights. Ocrevus, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody administered directly into a vein, was approved in the European Union to treat active forms…

Ocrevus Top Choice of US Neurologists for Active SPMS, But Mayzent and Mavenclad Gaining Interest, Report Says

Genentech‘s Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) continues to be the most prescribed medication to reduce inflammatory disease in people with active secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) among U.S. neurologists, even though Novartis’ Mayzent (siponimod) and EMD Serono’s Mavenclad (cladribine) were approved in March to treat this same MS…

#ACTRIMS2019 – Stem Cell Tourism Poses Threat of Complications for Patients, First US Neurologist Survey Says

Academic neurologists are seeing many patients with neurological diseases interested in or receiving unapproved stem cell-based treatments, sometimes with negative health and/or financial consequences, according to a U.S. survey of neurologists. The data were reported by Wijdan Rai, MD, from Ohio State University in a poster titled “Complications of Stem Cell…

Shots, Infusions, or Pills for Your MS?

  There are more than a dozen disease-modifying therapies available to treat MS. Some are shots, some are infusions, and some are pills. Some are more effective than others. The marketing intelligence company Spherix Global Insights regularly surveys which of these treatments are being used by neurologists and…

My Unique Primary Progressive MS Diagnosis

I have lived with the diagnosis of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) for almost eight years. For many years prior to that diagnosis, I was confused by what could be causing my abnormal gait, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, and trouble concentrating. During that time, I completed many diagnostic tests, dealt…

Nurses, Physicians’ Assistants Prescribe Antibody-based Therapies More Than Neurologists, Survey Shows

U.S. nurses and physicians’ assistants prescribe antibody-based disease-modifying therapies to their multiple sclerosis patients more than neurologists do, a survey indicates. The trend has been for the doctors to stick with interferon therapies, the study said. Antibody-based disease-modifying therapies are also known as monoclonal antibodies. They are designed to harness the…

MS Patients Deserve the Best Care

As patients, we deserve the best care for our MS and we should accept nothing less. I have had many years of difficulty trying to find adequate MS care since my diagnosis in 2010. I have gone from neurologist to neurologist, even before I knew my symptoms pointed to MS. My…

MS Therapies: What’s Hot, What’s Not

Ocvevus (ocrelizumab) is off to a running start, Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) leads the pills and the four injectable multiple sclerosis drugs are being used by fewer MS patients. But Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection) remains the leader of the pack of the disease-modifying therapies. Those are…

Ocrevus Is Popular Among Neurologists, but Insurance Is a Growing Concern, Report Concludes

Ocrevus' market introduction is off to a stellar start, with nearly half of neurologists surveyed by Spherix Global Insights saying they are using the therapy — the first ever approved for both relapsing and primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Within six months, 80 percent of neurologists are expected to prescribe Ocrevus, according to a report in the second-quarter edition of RealTime Dynamix: Multiple Sclerosis by Spherix Global Insights. But insurance is having an increasing impact on treatment decisions, the report also found, according to a Spherix press release. More patients are receiving less than optimal care because of inadequate or inferior insurance coverage, and neurologists report that insurers have become more aggressive in managing MS patients. Surveying 104 neurologists in June, the report showed that physicians followed through with their intent — reported in earlier surveys — to prescribe Ocrevus as it became available. With Ocrevus being the first approved drug for primary progressive MS, these patients make up a sizable part of those receiving it. But patients with relapsing forms of MS represent more than half of new users, according to the report. Ocrevus was also, by far, the drug that neurologists had learned most about, and felt most excited about using, the report added. Most of the patients on Ocrevus were switched from Biogen's Tysabri or Rituxan — a drug that, like Ocrevus, is also produced by Genentech/Roche. One in five patients was switched from an oral disease-modifying treatment, mainly Biogen’s Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate). But for about 25 percent of Ocrevus-treated patients, the drug is the first disease-modifying therapy they have received. The survey also revealed that patients are the driving force behind new Ocrevus prescriptions. Seventy-one percent of neurologists receive requests from patients who want to start the treatment. While neurologists have to turn some of these requests down for various reasons, a large proportion of those who ask for the treatment receive it. Another insight from Spherix’s “RealWorld Dynamix: DMT Brand Switching in MS” survey was that patients' requests for a specific brand are often honored. Seventy-seven percent were prescribed the brand they requested, the survey showed. Interestingly, neurologists believed the number to be lower. Most patients who made a specific request, the report indicated, asked for Tecfidera in the past year and a half. Tecfidera is by far the leading oral disease-modifying drug prescribed in MS. Meanwhile, according to the report, Biogen's Avonex, Bayer's Betaseron, Teva's Copaxone, and EMD Serono's Rebif continue on a downward path. At least 30 percent of neurologists report lower use of these therapies in the past three months. Patients previously on these drugs are mainly switched to oral disease-modifying drugs. But this trend is projected to slow, with only Sanofi-Genzyme's oral Aubagio (teriflunomide) continuing to grow. But the choice of treatment may increasingly be driven by insurance. Compared with the same quarter of 2016 — when neurologists estimated that 14 percent of patients received suboptimal treatment because of poor insurance coverage — 20 percent of patients are now judged to be in this situation. Also, 60 percent of surveyed physicians feel that insurance companies have become more aggressive in MS treatment management. A similar percentage also say that insurance policies influence how they prescribe specific disease-modifying drugs.

Benign MS: Is It Real or a Myth?

What is benign MS? Does it even exist? Certainly it is not one of the types of the disease often listed as making up the multiple sclerosis family. It is a term that is surrounded by controversy,…

Reports on MS Treatment Market Show Growing Shift to Oral Therapies

The multiple sclerosis (MS) market shifted during 2016, with oral disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) capturing a greater share and Sanofi-Genzyme’s Aubagio (teriflunomide) being poised for growth, according to a press release from Spherix Global Insights. The conclusions were included in the company’s “RealTime Dynamix: Multiple Sclerosis,” a quarterly report based…