Helping MS Patients Navigate Medication Decisions
By Kate Rauch
There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, but several medications can help slow its devastating effects, and extend healthier years for the roughly 2.5 million people worldwide diagnosed with this chronic neurological disease.
But as is the case with many drugs, medications used to treat multiple sclerosis vary in their effectiveness and side-effects, including mood swings, weight gain, flu-like symptoms, and increased risk for leukemia.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, one of the most frequent questions from patients is what drug should taken, but there is no concrete answer. “It’s a complex decision that can be confusing for patients,” says Leslie Wilson, PhD, a health economist and adjunct professor at the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
Wilson is working with colleagues in UCSF’s department of neurology to explore whether a popular tool from the world of consumer marketing that has been successfully used in promoting cars and soft drinks might help. It’s called “choice-based conjoint analysis”, a statistical model used to predict what consumers want in a sea of choices, based on the importance people place on different attributes, such as benefits, risks and ease of administration.
Read more at UCSF.edu
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