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BETACONNECT Auto-Injector Helps MS Patients Stick with Treatment

October 9, 2017

Most multiple sclerosis patients who try Bayer’s BETACONNECT auto-injector stick with their treatment, a study reports.

The electronic product may overcome the problem of many patients failing to stick to a therapy schedule because of what they consider hassles connected with injections. An auto-injector is one that patients can use to inject themselves with.

Researchers published their BETACONNECT findings in the journal BMC Neurology. The title was “Adherence, satisfaction and functional health status among patients with multiple sclerosis using the BETACONNECT® autoinjector: a prospective observational cohort study.”

A lot of MS patients take interferon (IFN) beta therapies such as Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif, or Plegridy, or glatiramer acetate treatments such as Copaxone. These medicines, aimed at reducing relapses and slowing the disease’s progression, are administered by injections below the skin or to muscles.

Although missing doses can lead to the disease progressing, many patients skip injections.

Methods that doctors use to try to increase compliance include educating patients, taking steps to manage treatments’ side effects, and trying new delivery devices, such as auto-injectors.

BETACONNECT, which administers Interferon beta-1b below the skin, stores information that helps patients stick to their treatment schedule. This includes when they should have injections, doses, and how far below the skin to make an injection. Bayer designed BETACONNECT to be easy to handle and allow patients to customize settings such as injection depth.

The objectives of the 24-week BETAEVAL study were to see how satisfied MS patients were with the BEATCONNECT injector and whether they would stick to using it. The final analysis covered 143 Germans with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis or with clinically isolated syndrome.

Researchers said patients’ median age was 40 years, with a range of 21-79, and 69 percent were women.

The research team checked patients at four, 12 and 24 weeks. Ninety percent were still using the BETACONNECT injector at four weeks, 86 percent at 12 weeks and 75 percent at 24 weeks. The rate at which patients were sticking with their treatment was lower at four weeks — 81 percent — than their BETACONNECT use rate. But it was higher at 12 weeks — 87 percent — and 24 weeks — 81 percent.

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