JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Managed care aspects of managing multiple sclerosis

Gary M Owens
American Journal of Managed Care 2013, 19 (16 Suppl): s307-12
24494620
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system usually diagnosed in the second or third decade of life; MS is more common among women than men by a ratio of 3 to 1. With its relatively early age of onset and symptoms that impair patients' quality of life, MS requires lifelong, dynamic treatment, and places a substantial economic burden on individuals, healthcare systems, and society. The costs associated with providing benefits for MS therapy are growing rapidly and the increasing complexity of the MS market is impacting disease management for payers. Employers are also increasingly aware of the costs associated with MS and are asking health plans to advise on the most appropriate and cost-effective ways to manage both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies for MS. Health plans, by necessity, must therefore balance appropriate access to treatments for MS with the need to manage rising treatment costs. To meet this goal, payers require population-based solutions, guidelines, and treatment algorithms for the management of MS that can be used in clinical and formulary management decision making in the context of an evolving therapeutic landscape. Further, comparative studies are necessary for payers to determine which agents may work best on a population basis. Due to the current lack of appropriate clinical guidance and insufficient head-to-head data on disease-modifying drugs, strategies for health plans and clinical management have been designed using the best available evidence. Undoubtedly, management of this class will continue to evolve with the launch of newer agents.

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