Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) can require complex long-term management. Some manufacturers of MS treatments offer free support services for patients who have been prescribed their product.
These programs can be very helpful to some patients and are worth considering when discussing treatment options and medication brands with your doctor or pharmacist.
PSPs are free programs that provide a range of services to help patients to better manage and live with their condition and treatment.
PSPs differ, but often include:
• In-home or telephone nurse services
• Financial (co-pay) support and assistance with insurance forms
• Access to advocacy groups
• Educational materials
• Live or virtual information sessions
• Product use training (for example, injection training)
• Peer support and shared patient stories
In patients with chronic disease (like MS, but others too), a study reported patient participation in PSP increased adherence to medication and lowered discontinuation rates relative to those patients who didn’t participate over a period of a year1
PSPs may help patients develop a better understanding of MS and their treatment, managing MS in their daily life, and available financial support to reduce any out-of-pocket costs.
There are many research studies describing the impact of PSPs. For example, in one study, MS patients said that they were overall very satisfied with participating in a PSP and that it improved feelings of health.2
1,123 adult German MS patients were surveyed about their experience with the PSP
• Patients at all stages of MS said that PSPs provided real benefits
• Patients at different stages of MS found different features of the program more beneficial
- Patients with early MS benefited more from medication training and tips about managing side effects - Patients with later-stage MS benefited from support around maintaining mobility and performing daily activities
• Telephone hotlines, calls with nurses, and mail education were particularly useful
• Patients felt that their health would be worse without the PSP
Check your knowledge!
True or false?
Manufacturers of MS medications may include free patient support programs that can offer real benefits to patients taking their product.
Correct! Many drug manufacturers offer a variety of free support services to patients along with their product. These can include nurse support, educational materials, or even financial benefit programs to reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
It’s true! Many drug manufacturers offer a variety of free support services to patients along with their product. These can include nurse support, educational materials, or even financial benefit programs to reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
When considering your treatment options, you should discuss patient support programs and available financial benefits with your doctor and pharmacist.
Switching to generic can prevent you from accessing valuable support services
Why you should ask your doctor about patient support programs
1. Brixner D, Rubin DT, Mease P, et al. Patient support program increased medication adherence with lower total health care costs despite increased drug spending. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2019;25(7):770-79.
2. Kohlmann T, Wang C, Lipinski J, et al. The Impact of a Patient Support Program for Multiple Sclerosis on Patient Satisfaction and Subjective Health Status: J Neurosci Nurs. 2013;45(3):E3-E14.