Study Showed Treatment with COPAXONE(R) is Associated with Significantly Fewer Days Missed from Work in Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Non-Treatment and Treatment with Avonex(R) or Betaseron(R) Had No Significant Impact on Days Missed.
A retrospective analysis of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients comparing patients treated with immunomodulatory agents with untreated patients revealed that only treatment with COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) was associated with significantly fewer days missed from work compared to untreated patients. Neither treatment with Avonex® (Interferon beta-1a IM) nor Betaseron® (Interferon beta-1b) was associated with significantly fewer days missed from work in comparison to untreated patients. The findings of this study, "Effect of immunomodulatory therapy and other factors on employment loss time in multiple sclerosis," were published in the September issue of the journal WORK.
"Being able to pursue a satisfying work life is an important part of life for most people, yet the symptoms of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and the up and down nature of the disease can make this a challenge for many patients," said MerriKay Oleen-Burkey, PhD, director of Outcomes Research at Teva Neuroscience and a study investigator. "After diagnosis, an estimated 70 to 80 percent of MS patients in the United States leave the workforce. A major goal in the treatment of RRMS is to reduce disease relapses and to provide patients the ability to go on with their lives despite the disease."
Disease relapses in MS can be associated with hospitalisation, interference with employment and accumulated disability, leading researchers to suggest that reducing relapse rates may be associated with a reduction in lost work time.
"The results of this study suggest that COPAXONE® might be a contributor in helping to keep MS patients participating in the workplace for as long as possible," said Oleen-Burkey. "It is important to consider the results of this study in context given various study limitations, including the retrospective design and a relatively small sample size. It is also important to continue searching for the optimal combination of factors for preserving the working life of MS patients."
About the Study
The purpose of the study was to examine the factors that potentially affect time missed from work for individuals diagnosed with MS. The study observed the impact of patient demographics, prior medical history, comorbid diagnoses, medications and the use of and type of immunomodulatory treatment on work attendance.
The study analyzed two MedStat databases - Health and Productivity Management (HPM) and MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters (CCE). Patients followed in the study included those diagnosed with MS between 2000 and 2002, who were continuously insured six months prior to the year of diagnosis and throughout the year following diagnosis, and with work records containing days missed from work, short-term disability and worker's compensation data (n=284).
Comparing work attendance of patients treated with the immunomodulatory agents COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection, n=28), Avonex® (interferon beta-1a IM, n=74) or Betaseron® (interferon beta-1b, n=16) to those who did not receive immunomodulatory therapy (n=166), only patients taking COPAXONE® had significantly fewer missed days of work for short-term disability (18.24 fewer days, P less than 0.03), worker's compensation (29.50 fewer days, P less than 0.04) or any reason (53.70 fewer days, P less than 0.003) compared to untreated patients.
Source: Teva Neuroscience, Inc.