A comprehensive look into MS treatment objectives is provided.
Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA: In your thoughts, what are the outcomes that patients with multiple sclerosis [MS] are most interested in achieving from what we’ve heard today?
Amanda Montague, Ed.M.: I think the Holy Grail would be to stop progression and repair damage. Those are things that from the MS patient perspective, I think everyone is holding their breath until we get to those days. But, not to sound like a broken record, I think that delaying progression and maintaining the quality of life are the things that are most essential to those living with MS. And having more options in terms of treating MS that will enable those 2 things to happen is a wonderful place to be within the MS community.
Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA: I think the exciting piece is we’re starting to see that progress, and it’s individuals like you in society who are really advocating for the right outcomes to be built in these trials. I think that brings more of a meaningful future to these patients and including that in their treatment journey is much more relatable. You sit down with a patient. Here are the outcomes we’re looking at. And yes, the clinical end point is going to be No. 1. we’re going to stop your progression, but we care about your quality of life, and here’s what the data shows. And what a great shared decision-making conversation around it. Dr Williams, do you want to provide any thoughts on this as well as you’re starting to see the future of these secondary outcomes? How do you see patients starting to be receptive to this information, interested in it, as they are now with their treatment?
Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, FAAN: There definitely is a lot of interest. I am very much an advocate of patient empowerment. So I like to empower people with knowledge. And people are very excited to be included in the treatment conversation. I think it’s something that has been long overdue, and I think that shifting some of our outcomes to really focus on their quality of life is extremely important and encouraging for them. When I can show them there are fatigue measures that were done in this trial, or that there were things looking at employment, or other issues like that, I think is very encouraging for them. I think we’re going in the right direction. And even to take a step back, when we think about just the explosion of the landscape of treatment, we really have been able to affect the natural history of MS. So where previously let’s say 80% or 90% of patients were very significantly disabled 10 or 20 years into the disease, that number is now down to 50%. We hope that with our newer therapies we’re able to decrease that even lower. So there are big advances that have been made, but we still have a ways to go and I think we’re moving in the right direction.
Amanda Hickman, PharmD, MPH, MSCS: I think with every novel therapy that comes out, that just means we’re learning more and more about the disease state. It just helps us get to that sweet spot of, as you said, stopping progression and also reversing it. I think we’re just getting so much closer and closer to that and it’s a great time to be trying to help patients with MS.
Transcript edited for clarity.