New data show positive results from Phase 4 study of Avonex Pen for treatment of RRMS patients

Patient satisfaction and ease of use with the pen was highly rated among patients

New data presented at the 6th Pan Asian Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (PACTRIMS), show positive preliminary results from PERSIST, a 12-month, Phase 4 clinical study of once weekly Avonex® PenTM for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Preliminary results show that of the patients that completed the study, treatment with the pen resulted in high physician-reported persistence rates (92 per cent at 12 months), defined as the percentage of patients remaining on therapy at 12 months.

Secondary study endpoints included patient-reported compliance and adherence, patient satisfaction and tolerability. Patients reported that the pen was easy to use, and by month 12 they were in less need of injection assistance from a carer compared to their first injection visit. Patients also reported being highly satisfied with treatment, with fear and anxiety of injections decreasing with use of the pen.

The pen provides the efficacy and safety profile of Avonex® (interferon beta 1a) in a more convenient form than the manual injection. The most common side effects associated with Avonex® treatment are flu-like symptoms, including chills, fever, myalgia, and asthenia.

“Patients with MS may experience loss of motor function thereby limiting their ability to self-administer injectable medication. The results from the PERSIST study suggest that the pen helps patients to self-inject more easily, giving them a greater sense of control and therefore treatment satisfaction.” said Dr. Jonathan O’Riordan, Consultant Neurologist, NHS Tayside, UK.

“It is important when prescribing disease-modifying therapies that we take into consideration a patient’s lifestyle and understand the many factors that support acceptance of therapy, including a convenient and easy treatment regimen which can help promote adherence in patients with MS which in turn leads to more positive clinical outcomes.” said Barbara Wingrove, MS Specialist Nurse, City Hospitals Sunderland.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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