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Long-Term Use of Ampyra Lowers Medical Costs and Hospital Visits

July 13, 2017

For many multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, impaired walking causes a significant concern. Ampyra, a drug in a Phase 3 trial showed that it could improve walking in patients with MS. Improved walking was demonstrated by an increase in the speed of walking. A recent study has also found that MS patients who used Ampyra lowers both inpatient hospital visits and overall healthcare costs. The study, titled “Inpatient Admissions and Costs Associated with Persistent Use of Dalfampridine Extended-Release in Multiple Sclerosis: A Claims Database Analysis,” were published in the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy. The study assessed how the long-term use of Ampyra influences inpatient admissions and costs associated with hospital visits using MS patient cohorts. The data was collected from the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan commercial Claims and Encounters (CCAE) Database.

From 2009 to 2014, a total of 1,598 MS patients were included in the study and divided into two groups: persistent users and non-persistent users. 719 MS patients were persistent Ampyra and 879 were non-persistent. Characteristics among these two groups were similar, including MS-related symptoms such as muscle weakness, spasms, and recorded walking movements. Results showed that persistent Ampyra users were found to be less likely to be admitted to the hospital for any cause compared to patients who were non-persistent Ampyra users. For MS-related hospital admissions, persistent Ampyra users were almost half as likely to be hospitalized. Costs associated with inpatient care was also significantly lower for patients with long-term Ampyra use. They were also less likely to require extensive medical resources during their inpatient stay.

The researchers also suggested that, “Although causality cannot be established from these findings, it is possible that walking impairment, with its broad implications for patient health, well-being, and social functioning, may be a direct contributor to, and an indirect marker of, acute care needs.”