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Enhanced patient support services improve patient persistence with multiple sclerosis treatment

Authors Roche J, McCarry Y, Mellors K

Received 20 December 2013

Accepted for publication 18 February 2014

Published 11 June 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 805—811

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S59496

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Jane Roche,1 Yvonne McCarry,2 Karen Mellors3

1Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, 2Quintiles Ireland Ltd, Fairview, Dublin, Ireland; 3Merck Serono Ltd, Feltham, UK

Background: Subcutaneous interferon beta-1a (sc IFN β-1a) therapy (44 µg or 22 µg, three times weekly) improves relapse rates and disability progression in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). While early treatment with disease-modifying drugs may maximize therapeutic benefit, patients with low adherence or long treatment gaps are at increased risk of relapse. MySupport is an industry-sponsored program that provides support to patients with MS who have been prescribed sc IFN β-1a in the UK or Republic of Ireland (ROI), via telephone and text messaging, website access, and (in some cases) face-to-face support from a dedicated MySupport Nurse. The aim of this audit was to assess if the MySupport program in the ROI could improve persistence to sc IFN β-1a therapy.
Methods: Anonymized data were supplied retrospectively from the MySupport program, for ROI patients who were registered in January 2010 to receive sc IFN β-1a three times weekly. Patients were recorded as “new” at their first drug delivery; “active”, if they continued to receive scheduled deliveries; “interrupted”, if their medication delivery was halted; or “stopped”, if no deliveries were made for 12 months. The number of “active” patients was recorded monthly for 24 months. Results were compared with data from UK patients with MS, who were receiving National Health Service (NHS) support only, or this support plus MySupport.
Results: A greater proportion of ROI patients receiving MySupport (compared against UK patients receiving NHS support only) were on treatment at 12 months (87.8% versus 79.3%) and at 24 months (76.2% versus 61.8%). The odds of being on treatment were significantly greater, at all time points, for ROI patients receiving MySupport, versus UK patients receiving NHS support only (P<0.0001).
Conclusion: A personalized support program, utilizing one-to-one nursing support and additional support materials, can increase the probability of patients with MS remaining on disease-modifying drug treatment.

Keywords: multiple sclerosis, interferon beta-1a, persistence, adherence

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