Electronic Autoinjector Approved for Betaseron®
On September 25, 2015, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Betaconnect, an electronic autoinjector for use with Betaseron® (interferon beta-1b), an approved disease-modifying therapy (DMT) for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Although other autoinjectors are available to help with the administration of self-injected medications, this is the first electronic autoinjector to be approved by the FDA for a medication used in the long-term treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Marketed by parent company Bayer HealthCare, this device will be available in early 2016.
Betaseron is given via subcutaneous (under the skin) self-injections every other day. According to Bayer HealthCare, the electronic autoinjector was developed based on feedback from individuals with MS and their caregivers. The features of this new device include:
- customizable injection speed and depth settings that allow individuals to inject quietly and with precision at the touch of a button
- optional back-up reminder function to alert those using this device that it’s time for their next injection
- automatic needle insertion and retraction
- visual and audio end-of-dose indication to confirm when the injection is complete
Bayer HealthCare states that after completing the preparation of Betaseron, individuals may use Betaconnect, but this should only be done with the syringes provided in the Betaseron packaging. They also caution that those using Betaconnect should speak to a healthcare provider or nurse before making any changes to their injection depth or speed settings.
MSAA President and CEO Doug Franklin explains, “Providing new options to assist with the administration of an MS medication is important. When ease and comfort are increased, and reminders are given when the next dose is due, individuals may be better able to stay on course with their treatment plan.”
For those taking a disease-modifying therapy for the long-term treatment of MS, research shows that adhering to one’s treatment regimen is critical to experiencing the best health outcomes. The approval of Betaconnect, as well as any device or method that enables individuals to stay on their prescribed treatment with fewer interruptions, is greatly welcomed by the MS community.
For more information or to speak with a trained Client Services Specialist, please call MSAA’s Helpline at (800) 532-7667, extension 154. Questions to MSAA’s Client Services department may also be emailed to MSquestions@mymsaa.org.
Written by Susan Wells Courtney, MSAA Senior Writer and Creative Director
Reviewed by Jack Burks, MD, MSAA Chief Medical Officer