Supplement

Participating Faculty: A Data-Driven Approach to Improving Clinical and Economic Outcomes in Multiple Sclerosis

Published Online: November 24, 2013
This supplement to The American Journal of Managed Care is intended to provide current information regarding the epidemiology and pathophysiology of MS; the impact of the disease on patient health and quality of life; current treatment strategies; best clinical practices; and the economic burden MS places on patients, providers, and society as a whole. The discussion will feature an overview of MS; an overview of the mechanism of action, benefits, and risks of approved and emerging therapies; and a review of the cost burden associated with worsening disease.
Release date: November 20, 2013 |  Expiration date: November 20, 2014

Estimated time to complete activity: 2.5 hours

Type of Activity: Knowledge | Activity fee: Free of charge

Medium: Print with Internet-based posttest, evaluation, and request for credit.

This activity is supported by educational grants from Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals; Biogen Idec; EMD Serono, Inc; Genzyme Corporation; and Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Intended Audience

Physicians, nurses, medical directors, pharmacy directors, specialty pharmacists, and other managed care professionals who oversee the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis.

Statement of Educational Need

Recent research into the complex pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) has yielded several key observations that underscore the need for improved diagnosis leading to early treatment. Disease progression has been shown to occur in the absence of clinical relapses, and even early relapses that appear relatively benign may have permanent neurological consequences. Key opinion leaders have concluded that MS is a neurodegenerative disease associated with a deregulated inflammatory cascade of life-changing symptomatology and cognitive dysfunction resulting in an economic burden that affects patients, providers, and society as a whole. Aggressive and early treatment with disease-modifying drug (DMDs), as recommended by the National MS Society, has begun to demonstrate positive long-term outcomes, a potential for reduced future disease activity, and improved patient quality of life.

Because the need for pharmacotherapy in MS patients is lifelong, sustaining adherence to therapy is critical to successful management. In a survey recently administered by the Pharmacy Times Office of Continuing Professional Education (PTOCPE), a significant proportion of clinician survey respondents indicated a lack of some degree of knowledge regarding the role of DMDs and supportive therapies in MS, underscoring the need for effective education on currently available DMDs and pharmacotherapies, improved working knowledge of the comparative efficacy and safety profiles of approved agents, increased familiarity with beneficial supportive therapies for patients, and a better understanding of best clinical practices and therapeutic strategies in MS as a whole.

A recent longitudinal study found that approximately 43% of patients with MS were not being treated with a DMD, and between 17% and 40% of those prescribed a DMD will discontinue treatment within 1 year of initiation. This highlights 2 major gaps in patient care: (1) the need to increase awareness of optimal pharmacotherapies that are available for patients, and (2) the need to improve clinician-driven strategies to drive patient medication adherence. While the appropriate management of MS is certainly complex and difficult, additional learning resources for clinicians will provide the information that ultimately drives optimal clinical outcomes through improved professional competence and performance.

This supplement to The American Journal of Managed Care is intended to provide current information regarding the epidemiology and pathophysiology of MS; the impact of the disease on patient health and quality of life; current treatment strategies; best clinical practices; and the economic burden MS places on patients, providers, and society as a whole. The discussion will feature an overview of MS; an overview of the mechanism of action, benefits, and risks of approved and emerging therapies; and a review of the cost burden associated with worsening disease.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of the educational activity, the participant should be able to:
  • Examine the epidemiology, pathophysiology, spectrum of symptoms, and potential progression of MS, including MS disease classification and role of neuroimaging, to facilitate appropriate strategies in comprehensive disease management
  • Evaluate current and emerging therapeutic approaches with potential for disease modification in MS and their role in the total treatment paradigm
  • Evaluate the currently available DMDs and supportive care therapies to determine the appropriateness of individual therapies for the unique classifications of disease
  • Identify improved risk assessment and risk management strategies in the management of MS in the clinical setting and within the context of managed care
  • Explore innovative patient strategies to sustain medication adherence, to improve economic and clinical outcomes in MS


Physician Credit

Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing

Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, Nurse Practitioner Alternatives, and Pharmacy Times Office of Continuing Professional Education. The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation

The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 2.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nursing Credit

Accreditation Statement

Nurse Practitioner Alternatives is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This activity has been awarded 2.25 credits (1.25 of these credits are in the area of pharmacology).

Pharmacist Credit

Accreditation and Credit Designation

Pharmacy Times Office of Continuing Professional Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This activity is approved for 2.5 contact hours (.25 CEUs) under the ACPE universal activity number 0290-9999-13-162-H01-P. The activity is available for CE credit through November 20, 2014.

Obtaining Credit: Participants must read each article in this supplement, complete the online posttest achieving a passing score of 70% or higher, and complete an online evaluation and request for credit. Detailed instructions on obtaining CE credit are included following the sample online posttest.

Faculty

PDF is available on the last page.