Bayer offers thinnest needle for its multiple sclerosis treatment Betaferon® in the U.S.
Berlin – Bayer will launch a 30-gauge needle for its multiple sclerosis treatment Betaferon® (interferon beta-1b) in the U.S. This will be the thinnest needle of any injectable disease-modifying therapy for people with MS. The needle is as thin as those commonly used for insulin and pediatric injections.
“Many people with MS using an injectable MS treatment have anxiety about injecting themselves,“ said Hans Bishop, Head of Specialty Medicine at Bayer Schering Pharma. ”Betaferon® is a an effective well tolerated treatment for people with relapsing forms of MS, as well as those with the earliest signs of the disease. Introducing the thinnest needle of any MS treatment also in the U.S. is another important step in our commitment to make it easier for people with MS to start therapy and continue using it.”
Patients cite a number of reasons for not starting or continuing an injectable MS medication, including issues around injections, such as injection anxiety, injection fatigue and injection site pain. Two-thirds (67 percent) of participants in a recent North American survey of people with MS agree they would be more comfortable injecting themselves if they knew they were using the thinnest needle possible. Benefits cited by the survey participants to using a thinner needle include less pain during injection (55 percent), less bruising (42 percent), less pain after injection (40 percent), and less anxiety immediately before injection (34 percent).
The needle has already been successfully introduced in more than 17 European countries and Canada. In a study in Europe, Betaferon® patients using the 30-gauge needle reported more than 50 percent of their injections were pain-free immediately after injection. The thinnest, 30-gauge needle will be introduced in the U.S. with an optional autoinjector called BETAJECT® Lite. In a survey of patients who used the 30-gauge needle along with the autoinjector, 98 percent were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the thinner needle and autoinjector after their first injection. These findings may be particularly important to patients who are not currently on therapy, as about half state that they would consider/reconsider taking an injectable MS drug if a thinner needle was shown to be less painful.
Betaferon® (Interferon beta-1b), marketed as Betaseron® in the US and Canada, was the first MS medication with proven efficacy on the underlying course of the disease. It is indicated for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis to reduce the frequency of clinical exacerbations. Betaferon® is an established effective MS medication that is available around the world. In the U.S., Europe, and Japan, Betaferon®/Betaseron® is approved for all forms of relapsing MS. It can reduce the number of MS attacks by one-third, the frequency of moderate to severe attacks is reduced by 50 percent. Patients treated with Betaferon®/Betaseron® have been followed up for up to 16 years, confirming the safety and tolerability of this medication.
About Multiple Sclerosis
MS is a chronic, progressive disease of the central nervous system and the likelihood of disability increases the longer someone has MS. Symptoms of MS vary from person to person and can be unpredictable. They may include: Fatigue or tiredness, dimness of vision in one or both eyes, weakness in one or more extremities, numbness and tingling in the face, arms, legs and trunk of the body, spasticity (muscle stiffness), dizziness, double vision, slurred speech and loss of bladder control.
About Bayer Healthcare
The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. The pharmaceuticals business operates under the name Bayer Schering Pharma AG. Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Find more information at www.bayerhealthcare.com.
About Bayer Schering Pharma
Bayer Schering Pharma is a worldwide leading specialty pharmaceutical company. Its research and business activities are focused on the following areas: Diagnostic Imaging, General Medicine, Specialty Medicine and Women’s Healthcare. With innovative products, Bayer Schering Pharma aims for leading positions in specialized markets worldwide. Using new ideas, Bayer Schering Pharma aims to make a contribution to medical progress and strives to improve the quality of life. Find more information at www.bayerscheringpharma.de.
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