Persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) take their treatment via pills, injections or infusions. A novel mode of disease-modifying treatment administration, an implantable device, is under development. This study determined MS patient preferences for three modes of first-line treatment administration (implant, pills, injectables), and trade-offs regarding treatment characteristics.
A survey including a discrete choice experiment was conducted among MS patients in the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom. Respondents had to repeatedly choose between various treatment scenarios with four treatment characteristics: risk of relapse, reduction of disease progression, risk of side effects and mode of administration. Data was analysed using a panel latent class logit model.
Based on the preferences of 753 MS patients (response rate 7%: 753/11202), two latent classes were identified (class probability of 74% vs 26%). Persons with relapsing-remitting MS and who administered medication via injections generally preferred any treatment over no treatment. Patients who could walk without an aid were more likely to prefer no treatment. Reducing disease progression was the most important treatment characteristic class 1. Mode of administration was the most important characteristic in class 2. Patients were willing to accept an increase in risk of relapse and disease progression to get their treatment via an implant rather than injections. Predicted uptake was the highest for the implant, followed by pills, injections, and no treatment.
We found that a drug-delivery implant could be a potential addition to the MS treatment landscape: MS patients are willing to trade-off risk of relapse and disease progression for an implant, and predicted uptake for an implant is relatively high.

Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.