Patient registry sheds light on the economic impact of MS



Preliminary findings from a registry questionnaire reveal that 77% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are employed either full or part time, with the rest being unemployed.

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“MS seems to prevent people with MS from realizing their full potential at work or home,” said study coauthor Kottil Rammohan, MD, who summarized the study results in a video interview. Dr. Rammohan is professor of clinical neurology, director of the MS center of excellence, and chief of the multiple sclerosis division at the University of Miami. The study findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.

The North American Registry for Care and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (NARCRMS) prospectively collects information about the health care economics of patients with MS and its effects on daily life. In 2017, NARCRMS established the health care economics outcomes research (HEOR) advisory group. NARCRMS developed a Health-Related Productivity Questionnaire and Health Resource Utilization Questionnaire. The questionnaires were incorporated into the existing case report forms that are completed by patients at enrollment, annual, and exacerbation visits.

This analysis was based on 480 patients who had completed HEOR case report forms. Among those, 77% are employed either full or part time; however, of those 15% were underemployed, meaning they wanted to work more than their current work levels. About 13% are on disability.

“What we found was there was a significant impact at home as well,” said Dr. Rammohan. Patients reported that MS kept them from completing household chores. “MS is a disease that seems to impact not only the work environment, but also the home environment.”

When polled to determine the main reason why these MS patients are not able to function, “what we found was that it was not because of gait or immobility, it was difficulty related to fatigue,” Dr. Rammohan said. The second most common impairment was related to cognition.

“These are what we call the silent or the transparent symptoms of MS.”

Dr. Rammohan disclosed consulting fees from EMD Serono, Biogen, Sanofi-Aventis, Genzyme, Novartis, Teva Neurosciences, Acorda, and Roche/Genentech.

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