Treatment Patterns Among Patients with Multiple Sclerosis Initiating Second-Line Disease-Modifying Therapy.

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Advances in therapy


OBJECTIVE: Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) can reduce multiple sclerosis (MS) relapse rates; however, effectiveness of treatments may vary. It is important to understand real-world treatment patterns in the context of MS relapses. We describe MS relapses related to treatment patterns among patients who switch treatment after their first DMT.

METHODS: IBM MarketScan research databases were used to identify adult patients with MS who switched DMTs (index-first switch) after being newly treated with a DMT from January 2009 through March 2017, with 12 months of continuous enrollment pre- and post-index. Non-persistence was defined as discontinuing (at least 60 days without DMT) or switching DMTs. MS relapses were defined using a validated claims-based algorithm. Multivariable analysis was used to examine odds of 12-month persistence, odds of post-index relapse, and number of relapses.

RESULTS: In total, 4121 patients with MS met all inclusion criteria (mean age 46.4 years; female 76.2%). Overall, 49.6% switched to an oral DMT, 36.5% to an injectable DMT, and 13.9% to an infusion DMT. Switching DMTs resulted in a 32.4% reduction in relapses between pre- and post-index. Only 54.6% of patients were persistent throughout the first year. Patients who switched to oral DMTs had 95% higher adjusted odds of persistence and 18% lower adjusted odds of a post-index period relapse than patients who switched to injectable DMTs. The number of baseline relapses was not associated with persistence but with 68% higher odds of a post-index relapse, with each additional baseline relapse associated with a 44% increase in number of post-index relapses.

CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with MS who switched DMTs, persistence was consistently low regardless of treatment. Although persistence with oral DMTs was slightly higher than with injectable DMTs, overall results indicate poor persistence to second-line therapy and highlight the need to improve long-term persistence with DMTs.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)