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Tecfidera Improves MS Patients' Work Productivity, Compared with Other Therapies

A new study showed that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients taking Tecfidera, or dimethyl fumarate, were more productive at work than those on Copaxone or beta-interferon therapies. Tecfidera also proved to increase patients’ quality of life. The study was published in Neurology and Therapy, and was titled “Quantifying the Benefits of Dimethyl Fumarate Over β Interferon and Glatiramer Acetate Therapies on Work Productivity Outcomes in MS Patients.”

The study consisted of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The four beta-interferon treatments used were Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif, and Extavia. Those therapies and Copaxone, or glatiramer acetate, are collectively known as ABCREs. Researchers decided to compare Tecfidera’s impact on work productivity and quality of life with ABCRE therapies. The quality of life portion of the study had 260 RRMS patients, some of whom received Tecfidera and some an ABRE. 160 out of the 260 patients gave the researchers information about their worklife. One quality of life measures was the EuroQol Five-Dimensions health states and visual analogue scale. The tool to measure productivity was the Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire. On average, the Tecfidera group outperformed the ABCRE group on both productivity and quality of life measures. In general, when quality of life scores increased, so did productivity scores.

“This study has highlighted the potential advantages of using DMF [dimethyl fumarate] therapy to treat MS patients over ABCRE therapies,” the researchers wrote. “Higher HRQoL [quality of life] and work productivity outcomes were observed in DMF patients than in patients receiving an interferon or glatiramer acetate therapy. The HRQoL outcomes were used as a predictor of work productivity, which demonstrated a positive correlation with the EQ-5D [EuroQol] and HAQUAMS [Hamburg quality of life] measures, suggesting that as HRQoL outcomes improve, so does productivity.”


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