As noted in this issue’s “Up Front” column, MSAA recently launched an amazing online tool to assist the MS community with learning about and comparing the many different disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of MS. This interactive, user-friendly resource has been developed in collaboration with Wondros, a global creative agency, and it absolutely earns its name of Ultimate MS Treatment Guide.
Since 1993, when the very first medication was approved by the FDA for the treatment of MS, the number of approved DMTs has grown to more than two dozen types and brands of MS medications. Anyone familiar with these medications is well aware of the complexities involved with each treatment – and the challenges facing individuals as they work with their physician to select the DMT that is the most appropriate for them. Complicating this process is the fact that these DMTs are approved for specific types of MS, each medication has its own mechanism of action, route of administration, degree of effectiveness, potential side effects, and many more details specific to that individual treatment.
For most people, obtaining comparable information on so many medications, in user-friendly terminology and with experts to sort out the information, has been virtually impossible. MSAA recognized this urgent need and collaborated with MS specialists and patient advocates to create an interactive guide unlike any other.
To begin exploring MSAA’s Ultimate MS Treatment Guide, please visit MStreatmentguide.org. Once there, you’ll immediately see a link to an educational video featuring MSAA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Barry Hendin. You will also see all of the FDA-approved disease-modifying therapies for MS, along with graphics to indicate whether the medication is taken orally, via self-injection, or via IV administration.
Please note that you will have several ways to sort and filter. For instance, you may view all of the medications in alphabetical order or in order of their approval date. You may also view the medications according to how they are administered or according to which form(s) of MS they treat. Additional information is provided on opting out of treatment, should that be necessary, as well as the treatment philosophy from MS specialists.
Selecting any of the specific medications will take you to a new page devoted entirely to that individual medication. You’ll see a link to an educational video with an MS specialist who speaks about that particular therapy. Also on this page, you’ll learn how the treatment works and the form(s) of MS it treats, how it is taken, potential benefits and side effects, other key notes, and a link to the medication’s specific prescription-assistance program. Across the lower part of all of the treatment pages, you’ll see links to videos from our patient advocates, who provide insightful information as they talk about their own treatment experiences.
While all of these features mentioned so far are of tremendous help to anyone looking for more information and clarity on the disease-modifying therapies for MS, we have saved one of the most unique features for last! When back on the landing page, you’ll see that each treatment’s box has an option labeled “compare.” Selecting two or three (maximum) medications allows you to view these medications side-by-side, including information such as when it was approved, administration, side effects, testing and monitoring required, plus contraindications and pregnancy warnings. Please be sure to check out this unique and very helpful feature.
We are very excited about the launch of this innovative tool designed to assist members of the MS community with selecting the appropriate MS therapy for them, a decision made in conjunction with their medical professional.
MSAA’s Ultimate MS Treatment Guide is made possible through the generous support of Janssen Neuroscience, Biogen, Bristol Myers Squibb, EMD Serono, Genentech, Novartis, and Sanofi.
Special thanks to Diamond Sponsor Janssen Neuroscience for their
generous support of the Ultimate MS Treatment Guide.
Please visit MStreatmentguide.org to access this comprehensive tool to learn about the different FDA-approved treatments for multiple sclerosis.
COVID-19 Vaccines and MS Video Series
Another vital initiative is our new video series highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on the MS population, the importance of vaccination and boosters, and the related cultural issues within both the African American and Hispanic/Latinx populations. These videos feature Dr. Barry Hendin, Dr. Mitzi Williams, and Dr. Lilyana Amezcua. Four of these six videos are in English, and the two videos addressing the Hispanic/Latinx community are in Spanish.
Each video features one of these three MS specialists providing important details and study findings on COVID-19 as it relates to the MS community and people of color. The effectiveness and safety of vaccinations and boosters, as well as vaccination hesitancy among African American and Hispanic/Latinx individuals, is also discussed.
These educational videos are particularly unique in that they combine videos of the physicians speaking along with animation.
This style makes these videos both informative and enjoyable to watch. To learn more and view these new videos, please visit mymsaa.org/covidvaccinePSAs.
This video series is made possible through the generous support of EMD Serono.