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Burden of Multiple Sclerosis Relapses Is Underappreciated, Study Says

May 8, 2017

According to a study, the burden of moderate-to-sever relapses in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients is underappreciated. The study was sponsored by the pharmaceutical company, Mallinckrodt. The research team reviewed 24 scientific studies on the economic burden of MS relapses. Most did not address relapse severity, but those that did showed that the cost and impact of MS relapses increases with the severity of the episodes. A study in 2003 put the three-month cost of a moderate-intensity relapse at $1,847 and a high-intensity one at $12,870. In 2016, those costs would be equivalent to $3,092 and $21,544. A study in 2013 put the one-year cost of a low-to-moderate-intensity relapse at $18,981 and a high-intensity one at $29,355. The equivalent 2016 costs would be $21,959 and $33,961.

The team concluded that the burden associated with moderate-to-severe relapses in MS has yet to be understood. Mallinckrodt manufactures the H.P. Acthar Gel, which provides fast relief. It contains purified adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which triggers the body’s own corticosteroids and may also affect immune B- and T-cells. The gel can also treat spasms in children. The gel overall reduces both the number and duration of hospitalizations and emergency-room visits.