Press Release

KMK Partners with Major Pharma Company in Recent RWE Study Analyzing Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Costs

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KMK partners with a global healthcare company in a real-world evidence study to quantify the healthcare costs associated with Multiple Sclerosis relapse.


People and their loved ones dealing with multiple sclerosis (MS) face many challenges. The disease can cause people’s immune systems to attack their myelin sheath, which covers nerve fibers and tissues between their brains and the rest of their bodies. Symptoms can vary from person to person and MS can disrupt nearly any nervous system function.

MS is still a prevalent disease in the 21st century. Between 400,000 and 500,000 people in the U.S. live with MS today. And while some can keep their symptoms under control, others can experience relapses, which often occur two years after diagnosis. These relapses can significantly reduce the quality of MS patients’ day-to-day lives and often require extensive medical treatment. Because there is currently no cure, those living with MS must rely heavily on treatments to get by. Depending on the circumstances, treatment could include speech therapy, physical therapy and the use of several medications, including Glatopa, Avonex, Zeposia and Ocrevus.

Patients and their families are often so overwhelmed with the news of their diagnosis that they may not understand what type of therapeutic they need. This is where health care providers can step in to provide guidance around the different options that exist. However, they should back up their treatment suggestions with credible and transparent real-world data, typically collected by experts either through research or case studies.

The information in this study was gathered through collecting Real-World Evidence (RWE). KMK and its partners collected Real-World Data (RWD), which was obtained outside the context of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and generated during routine clinical practice. Increasingly, healthcare companies are analyzing various available data created in the real world to evaluate and guide business decisions based on scientific research and proven methodologies.

There are many options available for MS patients. However, prescriptions and medical care can be expensive, however, especially for those who have one or more relapses. According to the American Journal of Managed Care, as MS patients’ disability levels increase, so do their medical bills. The average cost of mild MS disability care is approximately $30,000 annually.

In a recent study, Springer Link examined more than 8,000 MS patients. The participants were placed into three different groups based on the severity of their condition. Each group was classified as follows:

• Severe relapse (SR): Patients who were hospitalized and were primarily diagnosed with MS
• Mild/moderate relapse (MMR): Patients primarily diagnosed with MS who received both emergency room (ER) and outpatient care. This group was also given corticosteroids within seven days after treatment
• No relapse (NR) cohort: Patients who didn’t have a relapse within the 12 months the study was conducted

For the study, researchers analyzed each patient’s total medical expenses, including hospital visits, medical appointments and prescription drugs. Their results show that out of the more than 8,000 MS patients studied, more than 2,000 experienced a relapse and that more than 20% of those relapses were severe.

From looking at the total costs incurred by patients in all categories, researchers found that:
• The overall annual costs for all MS patients was between approximately $48,000 and $52,000 per patient
• The cost for MS patients with relapses was between approximately $56,000 and $66,000 per patient
• The cost for MS patients with severe relapses was between approximately $65,000 and $88,000 per patient

For patients who didn’t have a relapse, prescription medications were their biggest expense, accounting for more than half of their treatment costs. But for those who had severe relapses, medical costs were their most significant financial burden, accounting for more than half of their treatment expenses.

Springer Link found that patients who experienced relapses were the most likely to have expensive medical treatment. These costs create a substantial burden for American families every year. Fortunately, they can address these issues before they occur by pursuing optimal preventative treatments.

For health care providers looking for MS treatments based on their patients’ and families’ needs, data analysis and research studies from KMK Consulting will provide the insights and observations required to make better-informed decisions.

Read more about our HEOR/RWE insights here.

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