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Discontinuing Disease-Modifying Therapies in Multiple Sclerosis: Deborah Miller, PhD

The staff member at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis discussed reasons why patients may stop treatment, as well as strategies for maintaining communication with the healthcare team in the event of discontinuation. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

“One of the things that we're concerned about is that, as people discontinue disease-modifying therapy, [is that] they may be less engaged with their health care team and may not be quite as vigilant about keeping routine appointments and having regular assessments done. That is a treatment plan that needs to be clearly established between providers and patients at the time a decision is made to stop disease-modifying therapy.”

The decision to stop disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) is one that requires a discussion between patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their providers, where the pros and cons are weighed a strategy is put in place for continual monitoring. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) offer particular benefit for monitoring patients in the event of treatment stop, due to their known validity and ability to be administered remotely, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Following her presentation at the 37th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), October 13-15, Deborah Miller, PhD, LISW, professor of neurology, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and staff member, Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research, Cleveland Clinic, discussed reasons why patients with MS opt to discontinue treatment and the need for a clear treatment plan, regardless of what patients decide. Patients can maintain tight connections with their providers with the assistance of PROs, Miller said, as data can be collected from the patient in the comfort of their own home, then transferred immediately to providers for their review. 

Transcript edited for clarity. For more ECTRIMS coverage, click here.

REFERENCE
Miller D. How to monitor patients after treatment stop? Presented at ECTRIMS Congress 2021; October 13-15; Virtual. Presentation ID 068.