Background The approval of Sativex for the management of multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity opened a new opportunity to many patients. In Italy, the healthcare payer can be fully reimbursed by the involved pharma company with the cost of treatment for patients not responding after a 4 week (28 days) trial period (Payment by Results, PbR), and 50% reimbursed with the cost of 6 weeks (42 days) treatment for other patients discontinuing (Cost Sharing, CS). The aim of our study was to describe the Sativex discontinuation profile from a large population of spasticity treated Italian MS patients. Methods We collected data of patients from 30 MS centres across the country starting Sativex between January 2014 and February 2015. Data were collected from the mandatory Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) web-registry. Predictors of treatment discontinuation were assessed using a multivariate Cox proportional regression analysis. Results During the observation period 631 out of 1597 (39.5%) patients discontinued Sativex. The Kaplan-Meier estimates curve showed that 333 patients (20.8%) discontinued treatment at 4 weeks while 422 patients (26.4%) discontinued at 6 weeks. We found after adjusted modeling that a higher NRS score at T1 (adjHR 2.23, 95% 2.07-2.41, p > 0.001) and a lower baseline NRS score (adjHR 0.51 95% CI 0.46-0.56, p > 0.001) were predictive of treatment discontinuation. Conclusion These data show that the first 6 weeks are useful in identifying those patients in which Sativex could be effective, thus avoiding the cost of longer term evaluation. © 2017 Messina et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
SA.FE. study group (2017). Sativex in resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity: Discontinuation study in a large population of Italian patients (SA.FE. study). PLoS One, 12(8), [e0180651]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180651