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A cross-sectional survey of patient satisfaction and subjective experiences of treatment with fingolimod

Authors Hanson KA, Agashivala N, Stringer SM, Balantac Z, Brandes DW

Received 22 December 2012

Accepted for publication 13 February 2013

Published 16 April 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 309—318


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Kristin A Hanson,1 Neetu Agashivala,2 Sonja M Stringer,3 Zaneta Balantac,3 David W Brandes4

1United BioSource Corporation, Dorval, QC, Canada; 2Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ, USA; 3United BioSource Corporation, Bethesda, MD, USA; 4Hope MS Center, Knoxville, TN, USA

Background: Fingolimod is the first oral disease-modifying therapy indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) to reduce the frequency of clinical relapses and delay the progression of physical disability caused by MS.
Objective: To obtain data from MS patients who have taken fingolimod regarding their treatment choice, first-dose observation (FDO) experience, and treatment satisfaction.
Methods: Patients ≥ 18 years old with physician-diagnosed MS in the United States who had taken at least one dose of fingolimod for the treatment of MS were invited to complete a web-based survey, which captured information on the reasons for starting fingolimod, FDO experience, and treatment satisfaction as measured by the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication (TSQM). A high TSQM scale score denotes high satisfaction.
Results: Survey respondents (n = 380; 55% female) had a mean (standard deviation) age of 39.8 (12.6) years, and a mean (standard deviation) duration of MS of 9.8 (10.3) years. Overall, more than 80% of patients reported the first dose was moderately/very/extremely manageable, convenient, and easy to take. Although 80% of patients reported experiencing a side effect with the first dose, most were highly tolerable and only eleven patients (2.9%) reported they were “Not at all” satisfied with the FDO experience. TSQM scale scores were highest for the side effect (79.4), followed by convenience (71.7), effectiveness (70.1), and global satisfaction (68.9) domains; relatively higher scores were observed among treatment-experienced patients. Both treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients indicated physician recommendation as the primary reason for starting fingolimod. Among treatment-experienced respondents (n = 273), 58% reported that their first choice for MS treatment would be fingolimod if selecting today.
Conclusion: Most fingolimod patients were satisfied with their FDO experience. Satisfaction with fingolimod was high and observed higher among treatment-experienced compared to treatment-naïve patients. Additional research is needed to understand key clinical and medication attributes underlying treatment satisfaction with fingolimod and other disease-modifying therapies.

Keywords: multiple sclerosis, patient survey, fingolimod, satisfaction, first dose

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