Discussing the 3 FDA-approved treatments for NMOSD, the clinical research director of the UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Center commented on the positive impact, as well as resultant barriers to care. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 4 minutes
“Getting the word out, having clinicians become familiar with the use of the drugs, what their ins and outs are—each of them has unique features with respect to the route of administration, frequency of administration, what you need to know about the products to provide them safely. Each of these drugs takes a little bit of effort to get physicians up to speed with them. The fact that all of this occurred during the pandemic has been a real inhibitor on getting that kind of medical education out.”
The treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) has recently evolved, with the disease having changed from a fatal, incurable illness with no therapies, to a treatable illness with 3 FDA-approved therapies—inebilizumab (Uplizna; Horizon), satralizumab (Enspryng; Genentech), and eculizumab (Soliris; Alexion). Speaking with NeurologyLive, Bruce Cree, MD, PhD, MAS, FAAN, clinical research director UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Center, and professor of clinical neurology, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, commented on the beneficial and challenging effects that treatment options have generated for day-to-day management of patients with NMOSD, as it remains a “relatively uncommon illness.”
Cree highlighted the high cost of each treatment, which generates a barrier to care, as well as the need to educate patients on newer treatments, rather than relying on older options with which clinicians may be more comfortable and familiar with. Two of the treatments, inebilizumab and satralizumab, were also introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cree noted, which inhibited the ability to speak about the treatments at meetings and generate conversation, as the community would have likely done in pre-pandemic times.