Author Topic: (CMSC) Patient experience and tolerance of new Copaxone dosing  (Read 121 times)

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Offline agate

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  • MS diagnosed 1980
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Presented at the CMSC conference May 29, 2015:

Patient Experience and Tolerance of New Glatiramer Dosing

Lynda R Hillman, DNP , MS Center of Excellence, West, VA Puget Sound Healthcare, Seattle, WA
Kathy Burgess, MD , Rehab Care Services, VA Puget Sound Healthcare, Seattle, WA
Wendy Miller, RN , Rehab Care Services, VA Puget Sound Healthcare, Seattle, WA


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Disease-Modifying Therapies (DMTs) have enabled many patients to benefit from reduced relapses, slower disease progression, and fewer brain lesions than experienced by patients not on DMTs. The number of new DMT options, both oral and injection or intravenous, has expanded in recent years. This is welcome news for both providers and persons living with MS. However, even the most efficacious DMT will not help patients if adherence is problematic or intolerable due to DMT side effects. Clinical trials may not show the extent of tolerability problems with a new DMT -- only post-market experience shows the full array of adverse effects.

We describe the experience and tolerance of a new form of glatiramer acetate in a populations of veterans with MS in Washington State. Glatiramer, a first-line DMT, was originally approved in a 20mg dose given by daily subcutaneous injection. In 2013, the FDA approved a 40mg dose of glatiramer which required only 3 subcutaneous injections per week -- a reduction of over 50% in injection frequency from the original 7 per week regimen. It was expected that patients with MS would welcome an option which required fewer injections, and find it well-tolerated.


1) To understand and describe the patient experience of adherence to the 3 x week glatiramer.

2) To identify both positive and troublesome aspects of this DMT regimen, in order to intervene and manage problems which otherwise might cause patients to self-discontinue DMT.

3) To further analyze this patient-reported data for elements crucial to patient satisfaction and quality improvement.

Findings will be used as we evaluate current and potential programs for ways to further improve care to veterans with MS.


Chart reviews of veterans with MS taking glatiramer. May also include focus groups of these Veterans taking glatiramer.


 Initial findings indicate approximately 25% of patients find the 40mg dose less tolerable than the 20mg dose. Increased injection-site reactions are reported. More concerning is the incidence, although small, of systemic reactions. Data collection continues through late April/early May 2015.
MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.