BURLINGTON, Mass., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that less than 30 percent of surveyed relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in the U.S. indicate that they would request a switch to an emerging agent that matches a dosing, safety and efficacy profile similar to emerging and recently launched oral MS agents such as Merck Serono/EMD Serono's oral cladribine and Novartis's Gilenya.

The new Patient Forum report entitled Which Multiple Sclerosis Patients Are Most Willing to Request an Emerging Oral Therapy? finds that although none of the emerging agents included in the report are in development specifically for progressive forms of MS, the majority of surveyed secondary progressive and primary progressive multiple sclerosis patients indicate they would request a switch to new medications that are effective at reducing the number of relapses and slowing disability progression, despite risks of severe side effects.

"These patients we surveyed are also more willing than relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients to switch to an oral therapy that has lower risk of side effects even if it is slightly less effective," said Decision Resources Analyst Cindy Fung, Ph.D. "Surveyed patients with secondary progressive and primary progressive multiple sclerosis have most likely tried and failed multiple therapies and are more willing to try new drugs that offer either greater efficacy or fewer side effects."

The report also finds that surveyed patients indicate that an initial consultation with a primary care physician (PCP) versus an initial consultation with a neurologist can delay diagnosis by an average of 4.8 months. Less than nine percent of surveyed patients who initially consulted a PCP about their symptoms received a diagnosis on their first visit, compared with more than 35 percent of surveyed patients who were diagnosed at their first visit when they initially consulted a neurologist. According to the report, 78 percent of surveyed patients who initially consulted a PCP were ultimately diagnosed by a neurologist.

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SOURCE Decision Resources

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