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An observational, retrospective, UK and Ireland audit of patient adherence to subcutaneous interferon beta-1a injections using the RebiSmart® injection device

Authors Willis H, Webster J, Larkin AM, Parkes L

Received 26 September 2013

Accepted for publication 17 December 2013

Published 12 June 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 843—851

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S54986

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6


Helen Willis,1 Julie Webster,1 Anne Marie Larkin,2 Laura Parkes,3

1Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom; 2MySupport Nurse, Quintiles Ireland Ltd, Dublin, Ireland; 3Medical Affairs, Merck Serono Ltd, Feltham, United Kingdom

Background: Poor adherence to disease-modifying drugs is associated with an increased risk of relapse in patients with multiple sclerosis. However, adherence is difficult to assess objectively. RebiSmart® (Merck Serono SA, Geneva, Switzerland), a device for subcutaneous (sc) injection of interferon (IFN) β-1a, features an electronic injection log that can assist in objective monitoring of adherence.
Objective: To assess adherence to sc IFN β-1a injections using data from RebiSmart®.
Methods: This was a single-group, observational, retrospective audit. Adherence data were collected from patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis in the United Kingdom and Ireland who had been prescribed sc IFN β-1a and had been using RebiSmart® for a minimum of 24 months.
Results: In total, 225 patients were included in the full analysis set; 72% were in the United Kingdom, and 28% were in Ireland. Overall, the mean age was 44.1 years, and 73% were women. Patients received sc IFN β-1a 44 µg (68%) or 22 µg (32%) three times per week. Mean adherence over the course of 24 months was 95.0% (median, 99.4%), and similar values were observed across all periods. The proportion of patients with 80% or higher adherence was 92.0% at 12 months and 91.1% at 24 months.
Conclusion: High adherence to sc IFN β-1a was observed across all patient groups using RebiSmart®, according to 2-year treatment adherence data. This may be partly attributed to the expert support patients received, supplemented by routine and regular contact from the MySupport patient-support program, as well as the self-motivation of patients who persisted with treatment for 2 or more years.

Keywords: multiple sclerosis, support program, persistence, objective

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