BACKGROUND: Injectable disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) reduce the number of relapses and delay disability progression in RRMS’ers. Regular self-injection can be stressful and impeded by MS symptoms. Auto-injection devices can simplify self-injection, overcome injection-related issues, and increase treatment satisfaction. This study investigated patient responses to an electronic auto-injection device.
METHODS: RRMS’ers (n = 63), aged 18-65 years, naïve to subcutaneous (sc) interferon (IFN) β-1a therapy, were recruited to a Phase IV, observational, open-label, multicenter study (NCT01195870). MS’ers self-injected sc IFN β-1a using the RebiSmart™ (Merck Serono S.A. – Geneva, Switzerland) electronic auto-injector for 12 weeks, including an initial titration period if recommended by the prescribing physician. In week 12, MS’ers completed a questionnaire comprising of a visual analog scale (VAS) to rate how much they liked using the device, a four-point response question on ease of use (‘very difficult’, ‘difficult’, ‘easy’, or ‘very easy’), and a list of ten device functions to rank, based upon their experiences.
RESULTS: Six MS’ers (9.5%) discontinued the study: one switched to manual injection; two discontinued all treatment; three changed therapy. In total, 59 out of 63 MS’ers (93.7%) completed the VAS; 54 out of 59 (91.5%; 95% confidence interval: 81.3%-97.2%) ‘liked’ using the electronic auto-injector (score ≥6), whereas 57 out of 59 (96.6%) rated the device overall as ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ to use. Device features rated as most useful were the hidden needle (mean [standard deviation] score: 3.3 [3.01]; n = 56), confirmation sound (3.9 [2.45]), and multidose cartridge (4.6 [2.32]). The least useful functions were the dose history list (8.0 [2.57]) and dose history calendar (7.5 [2.30]).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the electronic auto-injector may be suitable for MS’ers who are new to injectable DMD therapy. Devices that simplify the injection process may help to ensure that MS’ers receive the full benefits of treatment.
“The results suggest that MSers like the autoinjectors; or more useful comparison would be to see how MS’ers established on a treatment rate the device if switched. Our MS clinical nurse specialists have concerns about the device; complicated to use and they are worried about it malfunctioning. I would be interested to hear their thoughts on the paper.”
“If you are switcher to RebiSmart let us known how you rate the device?”