Pharmacist Program Demonstrates Benefits for MS Patients

Patients with RRMS newly prescribed IFN-β were enrolled and received 3 scheduled appointments with pharmacists
Patients with RRMS newly prescribed IFN-β were enrolled and received 3 scheduled appointments with pharmacists

HealthDay News — A pharmacist medication adherence program can improve adherence to interferon-beta (IFN-β) among patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to a letter to the editor published online May 2 in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

Wing Loong Cheong, M.Pharm, MBA, from Monash University in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, describes a pharmacist medication adherence program for patients with RRMS using INF-β, established in order to improve patient adherence to treatment and provide education on RRMS and INF-β. Patients with RRMS newly prescribed IFN-β therapy were enrolled, and received 3 scheduled monthly appointments with pharmacists, at which, health education was provided. Pharmacists conducted assessments of adherence to IFN-β, knowledge, and symptoms and disability experienced at the initial enrollment and during each visit. Twenty-seven patients were enrolled into the 26-month program. 

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Cheong noted that only 1 patient was non-adherent. There was an increase in patient knowledge scores, from a mean baseline score of 20.14 to 31.67 (P<0.05) by the end of the third appointment.

"We are encouraged by the high degree of patient adherence to treatment observed in this program and the improvements observed in the patients' knowledge of RRMS and INF-β," Cheong writes. "We look forward to conducting future studies using controlled groups to establish the effect of such a program on patient treatment adherence and to establish the link between patient knowledge and treatment adherence."

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