Assessment of the impact of earlier access to disease-modifying treatments with more convenient administration frequency in reducing the socioeconomic burden for multiple sclerosis patients in Europe

May 13, 2024
Clinic corridor in a hospital

The socioeconomic impact of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) extends to various areas of a patient’s life including personal wellbeing and mental health, family life and planning, employment and the lives of caregivers, which is associated with a significant economic and societal burden. Advances in the development of disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) in general have provided substantial benefits to people living with MS (PLwMS) leading to a reduction in the associated health and well-being impact and broader socioeconomic costs of the disease.

In this study, conducted on behalf of Merck KGaA, we focus on highly efficacious DMTs with more convenient administration frequency and examine the potential impact of earlier access to these treatments on decreasing the socioeconomic burden of MS. Based on a survey of PLwMS in eight European countries, evidence suggests that earlier access to these treatments can provide benefits in terms of:

  • Patient mental health and well-being in terms of experiencing fewer symptoms related to anxiety and depression and as a result incurring fewer financial costs and less disruption from mental health symptoms in other aspects of life
  • Improved relationships with significant others and timely decisions about family planning which impacts patients’ emotional state and has broader societal implications
  • Ability to stay in employment longer or work more hours
  • Reduced reliance on a caregiver for support with daily activities or childcare which would enable their increased participation in employment

On this basis, we discuss how a package of recommendations could ensure that the value of these treatments is recognised and that PLwMS are best supported in their choice of treatment and care options.

To find more about our findings and the lessons for policymakers, please download a copy of our report here.

Additional contributors