Guest - Brian Steingo, MD
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CHAMPIONS TACKLING MS - AWARDS Dinner, Honoring Aaron Boster, MD and Jon e. Glaser, DDS - now open for registration. Visit www.events.msvn.org
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Guest - Brian Steingo, MD
The researchers suggest that even though MS treatment costs are increasing, the costs are driven by common MS sequelae — a condition that is the consequence of a previous disease or injury. From 2006 to 2011, the researchers determined expenses have risen about 60%.
To reach this conclusion, investigators examined a pharmacoeconomic analysis to derive updated information about MS-related costs and cost drivers related to disease-modifying drugs (DMDs). The proportion of DMDs, they found, was similar in 2011 to that reported in 2004.
Using data from patients who were diagnosed more than a year prior, the researchers studied pharmacy claims for DMDs. Then, the values were adjusted to 2011 values using the medical care component of the consumer price index (CPI).
The participants were further divided into subgroups according to their DMD usage (interferon beta-1a intramuscular or subcutaneous, interferon beta-1b, glatiramer, natalizumab) and tested with different categorical markers. The analysis lead researchers to conclude that between 2006 and 2011, after CPI adjustment, inpatient care made up 6% of changes, outpatient care made up 19%, and the majority, 75%, came from DMDs.
Previous research had shown sequelae contributed heavily to MS care costs. However, in 2004, DMDs represented 73% of the total costs of care, while more recent research has excluded DMDs from analysis.
Mean expenses for MS care:
• Malaise/fatigue: $39,948
• Paresthesia: $33,648
• Depression: $42,831
• Abnormality of gait: $48,361
“The increase in DMD charges from 2006 to 2011 in the sample overall may be attributable to an increased number of available DMDs, as well as price inflation among existing DMDs,” the authors conclude. “A surprising finding of the present study is that the proportion of continuously enrolled patients with at least one DMD claim remained constant at about 53-54% from 2006 to 2011. Also surprising is that the DMD use rate estimated in the present study is less than the 58% reported by Prescott et al. for patients treated in 2004.” -
See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/articles/Multiple-Sclerosis-Care-Costs-Up-60-in-7-Years#sthash.3BAssGHy.dpuf
Friday, July 25, 2014
Multiple Sclerosis Symptom Recrudescence at the End of the Natalizumab Dosing Cycle
John N. Ratchford, MD; Regina Brock-Simmons, BS; Amanda Augsburger, RN; Sonya U. Steele, MS; Kristie Mohn, RN; Mandi Rhone, RN; Jinyan Bo, BA; Kathleen Costello,MS, ANP-BC
Background: This study was undertaken to determine how frequently patients receiving natalizumab for multiple sclerosis (MS) experience recrudescence of their MS symptoms at the end of the dosing cycle.
Methods: One hundred consecutive MS patients receiving natalizumab completed a survey evaluating changes in symptoms during the natalizumab dosing cycle. Ninety-one patients also completed questionnaires at two time points: the first week after natalizumab infusion and the last week of the dosing cycle. These included the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life–54 (MSQOL-54), Fatigue Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), and Beck Depression Inventory–II (BDI-II).
Results: End of dosing interval (EDI) symptoms were reported as currently being experienced by 57% of respondents. An additional 10% reported that they previously experienced that phenomenon, but not currently, and 33% reported never experiencing this. In those with EDI symptoms, they began to occur a median of 21 days after infusion and improved again a median of 1 day after infusion. The most common symptoms reported were fatigue, weakness, walking impairment, and cognitive difficulties. No specific demographic or disease characteristics were associated with this phenomenon. In the subgroup with EDI symptoms, the MSQOL-54, Fatigue VAS, FSS, and BDI-II scores were all significantly worse in the last week of the dosing cycle when compared with the first week. No difference was seen in these scores between first and last week in the subgroup not experiencing symptom recrudescence.
Conclusions: Recrudescence of fatigue, weakness, walking impairment, or cognitive difficulties at the end of the dosing cycle occurs in about two-thirds of MS patients receiving natalizumab.
From the Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Correspondence: John N. Ratchford, MD, Pathology 627, 600 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21287-6985; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Multiple Sclerosis Self-Management Scale
NYSCF scientists one step closer to cell therapy for multiple sclerosis patients
New study shows efficiency at making living human cells from MS patients' skin samples
Thursday, July 24, 2014
EDSS Alternative in an iPad, that can accurately gauge walking, balance, manual dexterity, visual acuity, and a measure of cognition in people with MS
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Washington became the second U.S. state to allow recreational sales of marijuana to adults on July 8 when its first retail stores opened under a heavily regulated and taxed system approved by voters in November 2012.
The state's Liquor Control Board, which regulates the fledgling marijuana sector, published the guidelines on Wednesday for the packaging and labeling of marijuana edibles. It prohibited any products, labels or packaging designed to be especially appealing to children, including lollipops and suckers, gummy candy and jelly beans.
To gain approval to market a pot-laced food item, such as brownies or bottled drinks, a processor must submit a photo of the product along with its labels and packaging.
The edible also has to pass a processing facility inspection and must be clearly labeled as containing marijuana. Edibles also must be tested for potency and to ensure that the marijuana derivatives are spread evenly throughout the products.
Washington's move to allow recreational sales comes amid a broader trend of liberalization taking hold in many parts of the United States.
Another new MS medication, PLEGRIDY™ (Peginterferon beta-1a) Approved in the European Union for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Today Biogen Idec announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted marketing authorization for PLEGRIDYTM(peginterferon beta-1a) as a treatment for adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), the most common form of multiple sclerosis (MS). PLEGRIDY is dosed once every two weeks and is administered subcutaneously with the PLEGRIDY PEN, a new ready-to-use autoinjector, or a prefilled syringe.
"PLEGRIDY offers people living with MS an interferon with compelling efficacy that requires considerably fewer injections than other platform therapies," said George A. Scangos, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Biogen Idec. "The approval of PLEGRIDY demonstrates our commitment to improving the lives of patients by providing innovative therapies that meet their individual needs, including flexibility in managing their disease.”
PLEGRIDY, the only pegylated interferon approved for use in RRMS, has been proven to significantly reduce important measures of disease activity, including number of relapses, MRI brain lesions, and disability progression.
The EC approval of PLEGRIDY is based on results from one of the largest pivotal studies of a beta interferon conducted, ADVANCE1, which involved more than 1,500 patients with relapsing forms of MS.
In the ADVANCE clinical trial, PLEGRIDY, dosed once every two weeks, significantly reduced annualized relapse rate (ARR) at one year by 36 percent compared to placebo
Read more, Including Safety and tolerability, found here
Monday, July 21, 2014
Researchers Funded By the National MS Society Shed New Light on Immune Attacks in MS and a Possible New Treatment Strategy
National MS Society-Supported Researchers Use Novel Technology To Identify FDA-Approved Compounds that May Stimulate Myelin Repair in MS
About Multiple Sclerosis
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