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Mixed Results Found About Treatment Adherence Improvement Among MS Patients

August 23, 2016

According to a population study recently published in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, it appears that multiple sclerosis patients are better off sticking to prescribed therapies.

The researchers of the study conducted at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada said that their aim was to “estimate the prevalence and predictors of optimal adherence and persistence to the disease modifying therapies (DMT) for MS in 3 Canadian Provinces.”

In order to do this, they used health service databases from British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to access information about the patients that received prescriptions for a DMT between January 1996 through December 31st, 2011, March 31st, 2014 and March 31st, 2012. A total of 4830 subjects were included.

The researchers reported that 76 percent of subjects were observed of optimal adherence after one year of therapy. While there were some differences between the provinces, the researchers also noted, “Those subjects who initiated therapy in recent years were more likely to have suboptimal adherence and to discontinue their DMT within the first 12 months than those who started treatment in earlier years.”

While the findings supported and contradicted previous studies, the researchers said they “did not identify any specific characteristics associated with adherence.” They also said that the findings “highlight the challenges in identifying individuals that may be at risk for poor adherence or persistence to the DMTs for MS.”

In regards to the comparison of this study to those conducted in the US, the author of the study said: “These observed differences may reflect the differences in healthcare systems.” Authors also say that the increased likelihood of discontinuation of MDTs in more recent years could be “a reflection of greater choice and drug access.”