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Increasing Use of Disease Modifying Drugs for MS in Canada

  • Dalia L. Rotstein (a1), Muhammad Mamdani (a1) and Paul W. O'Connor (a1)

Abstract

Background/Objectives:

The course of multiple sclerosis may be slowed by use of the disease modifying drugs (DMDs): subcutaneous or intramuscular interferon beta-1a, interferon beta-1b, glatiramer acetate, and natalizumab. We set out to compare utilization of these drugs in the Canadian provinces from 2002-2007.

Methods:

Using a retrospective cohort analysis, we reviewed population data from International Medical Statistics (IMS) Health between November 2001 and October 2007.

Results:

The total annual number of DMD prescriptions increased from 3.9, in 2002, to 5.1, in 2007, per 1,000 Canadians. The total annual cost of prescriptions rose from $187 million to $287 million. Of the four provinces responsible for the majority of prescriptions - Alberta, BC, Ontario, and Quebec - Quebec had the highest average annual prescription rate (7 per 1,000 population) and BC had the lowest rate (3.3 per 1,000 population). Subcutaneous interferon beta-1a was the most commonly used drug whereas glatiramer acetate showed the greatest growth in use from 2002 to 2007.

Conclusions:

Disease modifying drugs prescription rates and costs increased by more than 30% between 2002 and 2007. There was wide variation in DMD prescription rates and relative drug preferences across the provinces.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

30 Bond Street, Suite 3-007 Shuter Wing, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1W8, Canada.

References

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