HealthDay News — A pharmacist medication adherence program can improve adherence to interferon-beta (IFN-β) among patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to a letter to the editor published in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

Wing Loong Cheong, MPharm, MBA, from Monash University in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, describes a pharmacist medication adherence program for patients with RRMS using INF-β, established in order to improve patient adherence to treatment and provide education on RRMS and INF-β. Patients with RRMS newly prescribed IFN-β therapy were enrolled, and received 3 scheduled monthly appointments with pharmacists at which health education was provided. Pharmacists conducted assessments of adherence to IFN-β, knowledge, and symptoms and disability experienced at the initial enrollment and during each visit. Twenty-seven patients were enrolled into the 26-month program.

Dr Cheong noted that only 1 patient was non-adherent. There was an increase in patient knowledge scores, from a mean baseline score of 20.14 to 31.67 (P <.05) by the end of the third appointment.

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“We are encouraged by the high degree of patient adherence to treatment observed in this program and the improvements observed in the patients’ knowledge of RRMS and INF-β,” Dr Cheong writes. “We look forward to conducting future studies using controlled groups to establish the effect of such a program on patient treatment adherence and to establish the link between patient knowledge and treatment adherence.”


Cheong WL. A descriptive study of a pharmacist medication adherence program for patients with multiple sclerosis using interferon beta-1a. J Pharm Pract Res. 2017; doi:10.1002/jppr.1307