Research Article| Volume 398, P163-170, March 15, 2019

Real-world durability of relapse rate reduction in patients with multiple sclerosis receiving fingolimod for up to 3 years: a retrospective US claims database analysis

Published:January 22, 2019DOI:


      • Patients with multiple sclerosis had mean of 0.51 relapses/year before fingolimod.
      • Relapse rates decreased by >50% in each year of 3-year post-initiation period.
      • Median time on treatment was 33 months among patients initiating fingolimod.



      To assess real-world durability of reduction in relapse rates among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) receiving fingolimod therapy over a longer-term period of follow-up.


      Patients with MS who initiated fingolimod were identified from a US claims database (January 1, 2009 to September 30, 2016) and followed for 3 years post-initiation. Annualized relapse rates (ARRs) were calculated during the 1-year pre-initiation period, and during each year over the 3-year follow-up period. Time from fingolimod initiation to discontinuation (≥60-day treatment gap) was also summarized.


      Among 1599 fingolimod initiators, 1158 (72%) had continuous fingolimod use up to the start of year 2 and 937 (59%) had continuous fingolimod use up to the start of year 3. The mean baseline ARR during the 1-year pre-initiation period for all initiators was 0.51. After fingolimod initiation, mean ARRs were consistently lower in each year of follow-up: 0.25 (95% CI: 0.22, 0.28) in year 1 for all fingolimod initiators, 0.22 (0.18, 0.25) in year 2 for patients with continuous fingolimod use up to the start of year 2, and 0.23 (0.19, 0.27) in year 3 for patients with continuous fingolimod use up to the start of year 3. Median time on treatment was 33 months for all patients initiating fingolimod.


      Patients with MS who received continuous fingolimod therapy experienced a sustained reduction in relapse rates (>50% vs. baseline) during each year of a 3-year follow-up period.


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