Background The Pharmacy Division of Salerno University Hospital distributes medicines to patients referred to the Provincial Centre for Multiple Sclerosis, and since November 2011 has begun monitoring treatment plans to probe the degree of pathology more deeply and patients’ use of the drugs.
Purpose The study draws a general profile of patients in the first six months of monitoring.
Materials and Methods Monitoring the treatment plans presented in period 15/11/2011–15/05/2012, the total number, age and sex prevalence of patients were extrapolated, which were classified into: new diagnosis or following a therapeutic programme; severity of neurological disability, according to the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS); drugs used; therapeutic switches; recent interruptions; association with neurological drugs.
Results 165 patients were being assisted, mean age 44 ± 10 years. 115 were females. 5% of the subjects correspond to new diagnoses; 67% were following a therapeutic programme. 77.94% had an EDSS score in the range 0.0–3.0. 5.4% had scores over 7.0. Patients were starting or continuing treatment with the following medicines: interferon B1a 30 mcg/0.5 ml solution for injection (34%); interferon B1b 250 mcg/ml solution for injection (24.2%); interferon B1a 44 mcg/0.5 ml solution for injection (13.3%); interferon B1a 22 mcg/0.5 ml solution for injection (2.5%); glatiramer 20 mg/ml solution for injection (23%); fingolimod 0.5 mg capsules (3%). Of the subjects in continuation, 30% were taking interferon B1a, 16.4% glatiramer. 28% changed treatment because of new neurological abnormalities (50%), recurrent relapses (37%), problems of adherence to the previous regimen (12%). One patient each discontinued interferon B1b 250 mcg/ml and glatiramer due to elevated transaminases. More patients were switched from glatiramer to interferon B1b (33.3%). 20% were also taking neurological drugs such as escitalopram 10 mg (20%), baclofen 25 mg (16%), carbamazepine 400 mg (10%).
Conclusions A high percentage of patients emerge who, despite having neurological deficits, are living independently. In this stage there may be less full awareness of the disease, and pharmacists, with personalised counselling, can detect, correct and prevent poor compliance.
No conflict of interest.