Background: The current landscape and treatment patterns of disease-modifying therapy (DMT) use in pediatric patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are not yet well understood. This study examined DMT utilization and treatment patterns in pediatric patients newly diagnosed as having MS. Methods: Pediatric patients (<18 years old) with two MS diagnosis claims from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2016, were identified from the MarketScan Commercial Database. The index date was defined as the date of first MS diagnosis, and patients were followed up for 1 year post-index date. Outcomes evaluated included percentage of patients who initiated treatment after MS diagnosis, different DMTs initiated, treatment discontinuation, and switching treatment during follow-up. Results: Of 182,057 patients newly diagnosed as having MS, 288 pediatric patients (mean age, 14 years; 61% female) were identified. Within the first year of diagnosis, 188 patients (65.3%) did not receive any DMT. The most common first-initiated treatments were interferons and glatiramer acetate (83%), but 28% of patients switched or discontinued from first-initiated treatment within 6 months of treatment initiation. Conclusions: This study suggests that a considerable proportion of pediatric patients with MS remain untreated within 1 year of diagnosis. Patients most commonly initiated injectables as their first DMT. Overall, therapy failed early in approximately one in three patients. Thus, the study warrants urgency in treating these patients with currently approved treatment options. Int J MS Care. 2021;23:101-105.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing