Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) and Elan Corporation, plc (NYSE: ELN), in collaboration with EPI-Q, Inc. and Avatar International, LLC, today announced the launch of My MS Health, a first-of-its-kind, web-based, patient-reported outcomes (PRO) research program. My MS Health is designed to track and provide instant reports on patient function and quality of life (QoL) using validated measures over time. This outcomes research program will assess the impact of using My MS Health on patient-healthcare provider communication, and was developed with guidance from a multidisciplinary steering committee of individuals from healthcare and patient communities, as well as academia. Launched today, interested patients and healthcare providers who meet the research criteria can register for the program at www.mymshealth.org.
"My MS Health is a new research tool that may help patients and healthcare providers further communicate about important measures in the management of MS," said Alfred Sandrock, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Neurology Research and Development at Biogen Idec. "We believe the patients' perspective on how they feel and function is vital in understanding the overall definition of efficacy in MS therapy."
The user-friendly, secure technology platform and design for My MS Health was developed by EPI-Q, Inc., an industry leader in innovative health economics and outcomes research solutions, and Avatar International, LLC, an industry leader in healthcare measurement and quality improvement. In addition, EPI-Q, Inc. and Avatar International, LLC will implement My MS Health and evaluate data collected via the web-based outcomes research program.
The multidisciplinary steering committee provided critical advice on design and implementation of My MS Health, including the choice and presentation of appropriate measures to ensure relevance to current medical practice and patient needs.
"In developing My MS Health, it was important that all voices - from medicine to academia to the patient community - were heard and that their specific needs were identified and incorporated into the program," said John F. Foley, M.D., director, Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, Salt Lake City, and a member of the My MS Health steering committee. "While clinical and radiological assessments play a primary role in patient evaluation, patient-reported outcomes can offer valuable, standardized data that can lead to more comprehensive insights into the physical, neurological and psychological dimensions of a patient's experience."
The pilot phase of My MS Health, anticipated to continue through the first half of 2011, will be available to more than 2,000 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) treated with TYSABRI- (natalizumab) and to physicians who prescribe the drug in the U.S. After the pilot phase, there will be a review of intermediate study results to evaluate potential expansion to all people with MS. Interested patients and healthcare providers who meet the study criteria can register for the program at www.mymshealth.org
My MS Health Enrollment
When people with MS enroll in My MS Health, they are prompted to complete a series of self-assessment surveys that help them track the effect of MS on their QoL. These answers are recorded and instantly translated into easy to understand reports that patients can view online to track how they feel and how they are responding to therapy over time. Information also can be shared directly via the website with registered healthcare providers, or the report can be printed and used to prompt or guide discussions at regularly scheduled appointments.
PROs are validated measures of patient perspectives and can encompass a range of measures, including health-related QoL, ability to function and perform daily activities and the impact of MS symptoms and treatment on QoL and functioning.