People with relapsing multiple sclerosis who use a device called RebiSmart to self-inject medications like Rebif are more likely to take their therapies regularly and adhere to a schedule, resulting in fewer relapses compared to those not using the device, according to a study by researchers in Spain.
The current study included 258 patients with RRMS from 29 hospitals across Spain. Participants took Rebif using the RebiSmart device. The majority of these patients (81.8 per cent) were using Rebif as a first MS treatment, and had been administering it using the RebiSmart device for about three years.
Measures of adherence to treatment from the start to whenever the device needed to be replaced or when treatment was discontinued was the study’s primary goal.
Investigators assessed the device’s use over three years, and found, overall, that adherence was 92.6 per cent. A total of 78 participants (30.2 per cent) had a 100 per cent adherence rate, and 208 (80.6 per cent) had an adherence rate of at least 90 per cent. Only 34 patients (13.2 per cent) had an adherence rate of less than 80 per cent, and adverse events like relapses, fatigue or pain were the reasons most cited for stopping use.
“Suboptimal adherence was about three times higher in subjects who had suffered relapses than in those who had not,” the authors wrote. “Furthermore, 58.9 per cent of the subjects did not experience any relapse since the beginning of the treatment, thus corroborating its effectiveness in reducing the incidence of relapses.”
Adherent patients also “showed a significant better quality of life, fewer neuropsychological issues, shorter duration of disease, and shorter duration of therapy than non-adherent patients,” the researchers reported.
Another advantage of the RebiSmart device is that it records its use, providing feedback to the user regarding how consistently they take their medication, the researchers said, noting this can aid in adherence, because “…electronic injection devices such as RebiSmart permit adherence to be recorded and monitored by the device itself, thereby improving comfort, subject satisfaction, and the adherence to the treatment of patients in this chronic disease.”
RebiSmart was first launched in the United Kingdom. The device has been approved in the European Union and Canada, but so far, it is not available in the U.S.
Source: Multiple Sclerosis News Today © Copyright 2014 - 2016 BioNews Services, LLC (25/08/16)