As the discussion about disease-modifying therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) continues, the panelists discuss the long-term results of therapy and the effects of disease-modifying therapies on the natural history of MS.
Patricia K. Coyle, MD, concludes that it is too early to truly analyze how the emergence of disease-modifying therapies has affected the long-term costs due to a lack of data. Dr Coyle explains that MS is a long-term disease, and the average time from a relapsing to a progressive/secondary progressive phase is roughly 20 years. She states that the first disease-modifying therapy was only developed 20 years ago, so there is not much data to provide the results on how disease-modifying therapies have altered the natural history of MS.   
Although Dr Coyle does not believe there is enough evidence available, she feels that disease-modifying therapies are improving MS outcomes.
Leslie Fish, PharmD, agrees with Dr Coyle and explains that although there are trial inconsistencies that currently make it difficult to assess the outcomes of disease-modifying therapies, overall the studies conducted have proven that these therapies decrease the number of exacerbations and result in less patient disability during early stages of MS.
Dr Fish concludes by stating that although disease-modifying therapy is effective in early stages, and is moving the natural history of MS toward the right direction, the treatment options lag behind for progressive phases of the disease.

Episode 8 - Long-Term Effects of Disease-Modifying Therapies

During this segment, Patricia K. Coyle, MD, and Leslie Fish, PharmD, explore the long-term effects of disease-modifying therapies and assess where improvements are still needed.
Published Online: October 07, 2013
View More From This Discussion
Episode 1 Episode 1 - The Changing Tides of Multiple Sclerosis: Where Do We Currently Stand?
Episode 2 Episode 2 - Elucidating the Patient's Starting Point in Care
Episode 3 Episode 3- Exploring the Etiology of Multiple Sclerosis
Episode 4 Episode 4- Characterizing Multiple Sclerosis
Episode 5 Episode 5 - Elucidating the Economic Burden of MS
Episode 6 Episode 6 - Discussing the Pathophysiology of MS
Episode 7 Episode 7 - Increased Monetary Costs of Multiple Sclerosis
Episode 8 Episode 8 - Long-Term Effects of Disease-Modifying Therapies
Episode 9 Episode 9 - Exploring Trials, Data, and the Future of Multiple Sclerosis
Episode 10 Episode 10 - Treatment Complexities
Episode 11 Episode 11 - Clinical Guidelines Vital to the Future of MS
Episode 12 Episode 12 - New MS Agents Challenged
Episode 13 Episode 13 - Treatment Challenges for Progressive Disease
Episode 14 Episode 14 - Concerns about Rising Costs of Treatment
Episode 15 Episode 15 - Controlling Drug Prices and Working at the Population Level
Episode 16 Episode 16 - MRI Scans and MS
Episode 17 Episode 17 - Conclusion: Treatment Advancements and Final Remarks