Understanding and meeting injection device needs in multiple sclerosis: a survey of patient attitudes and practices
Elisabetta Verdun di Cantogno1, Susan Russell2, Tom Snow2
1Global Clinical Development Unit, Merck Serono S.A. – Geneva, Switzerland; 2Global Marketing, Merck Serono S.A. – Geneva, Switzerland
Background: All established disease-modifying drugs for multiple sclerosis require parenteral administration, which can cause difficulties for some patients, sometimes leading to suboptimal adherence. A new electronic autoinjection device has been designed to address these issues.
Methods: Patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis currently receiving subcutaneous or intramuscular interferon beta-1a, interferon beta-1b, or glatiramer acetate completed an online questionnaire (July 4–25, 2008) that surveyed current injection practices, experiences with current injection methods, and impressions and appeal of the new device.
Results: In total, 422 patients completed the survey, of whom 44% used autoinjectors, 43% prefilled syringes, and 13% syringes and vials; overall, 66% currently self-injected. Physical and psychological barriers to self-injection included difficulty with injections, needle phobia, and concerns over correct injection technique. Only 40% of respondents were “very satisfied” with their current injection method. The new electronic autoinjector was rated as “very appealing” by 65% of patients. The benefits of the new device included the ability to customize injection settings and to review dosing history.
Conclusion: New technologies may help patients overcome physical and psychological barriers to self-injection. The combination of a reliable and flexible autoinjection device with dose-monitoring technology may improve communication between health care professionals and patients, and improve treatment adherence.
Keywords: adherence, autoinjection, subcutaneous interferon beta-1a, multiple sclerosis
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF]