The cost of disease-modifying treatments for multiple sclerosis continues to rise in the United States

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a primary autoimmune disease in which inflammation is a key contributor to central nervous system (CNS) degeneration, leading to neurological disability and affecting the sensory, visual, motor and autonomic systems. Although MS is not a terminal diagnosis, the effect of the disease on the CNS can have a significant impact on patients’ independence and disrupt their daily lives.

Currently, most patients face the prospect of lifelong treatment with MS drugs, as the primary goals of available disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) are to reduce the frequency of relapses and delay recovery. accumulation of disability. However, they cannot cure and have a very limited impact on stopping disease progression.

DMTs for MS have a high price, especially in the United States. According to GlobalData’s recent report Multiple Sclerosis: Seven-Market Drug Forecast and Market Analysis to 2030 – Update, which identified 19 DMTs marketed for MS in the United States, the average annual cost of treatment increased by 9% between 2020 and 2022. For some DMTs, such as Tysabri (natalizumab) from Biogen, Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) from Sanofi, and Gilenya (fingolimod) and Mayzent (siponimod) from Novartis, the annual cost of treatment increased by 12%. A similar price increase trend was also observed for MS generics and biosimilars.

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) surveyed by GlobalData pointed out that the high cost of DMTs for MS can have a major impact on patients, their families and society. This economic burden may deter some patients from seeking treatment, while others may decide to stop treatment altogether.

The development and approval of safe and reliable curative therapies would be a major advance in the treatment of MS, with far-reaching implications for patients’ financial situation and health-related quality of life. KOLs believe that there is a great unmet need for curative therapies in MS, particularly for agents that can arrest the progression of neurodegeneration such as remyelination therapies, many of which are in early development. Although KOLs are generally optimistic about the prospects for long-term approval of MS curative therapies, they do not expect curative therapies to enter the market in the next few years. None of the agents in late-stage development are curative therapies, and their primary role is to reduce disease progression and the number of relapses patients experience.

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