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MS patients who are stable on interferon therapy show better outcomes than those who switch

A recent study has found that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, who are stable on interferon beta (IFNβ) therapy had better outcomes than those who chose to switch to another IFNβ.

MS patients were identified from the Optum Insights Clinformatics Data Mart Multi-Plan, who were 18–64 years old and relapse-free (stable) for over one year, while continuously being treated with an IFNβ. Patients were propensity score matched 3:1 using age, gender, initial IFNβ, adherence, and month and year for patients who stayed on the initial IFNβ (No Switch) to patients who switched to another IFNβ (Switch).

After matching, there were 381 patients in the Switch group and 1,143 in the No Switch group. Baseline characteristics were well matched between the groups (average age 46 years, 72% female).

The percentage of patients experiencing a relapse during the follow-up was significantly higher in the Switch group (21%) than in the No Switch group (12%). Annual relapse rate during the follow-up was also significantly higher in the Switch group than in the No Switch group.

Researchers concluded that MS patients stable on IFNβ therapy who remain on initial therapy had significantly better outcomes (lower annual relapse rate and percentage of patients with relapses) than patients who switched to another IFNβ therapy. This supports the benefits of allowing patients to remain on current interferon beta therapy when stable.

Source: MS-UK, 14/12/18

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