Leading drug manufacturers are bringing new treatments to market that could boost quality of life for sufferers of Myasthenia Gravis.
In late 2017, the FDA approved Alexion Pharmaceutical’s Soliris — the first new treatment for Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in more than 60 years. In July of this year, a phase 1 study on a novel monoclonal antibody from Argenx showed early signs of promise. And Catalyst Pharmaceuticals is “pushing forward as quickly as possible” with their ongoing clinical trials of Firdapse, yet another biologic treatment for MG.
The recent flurry of activity suggests that a better quality of life is within reach for sufferers of MG — and it’s reflected in the market outlook for pharmaceuticals targeting MG: A recent study conducted by Transparency Market Research (TMR) estimates that CAGR of the global Myasthenia Gravis (MG) market will exceed 10% annual growth over the next eight years, reaching $2.3 billion by 2025.
Reason for Optimism
Today, somewhere between 36,000 and 60,000 people in the U.S. live with MG, the chronic autoimmune disease that inhibits proper muscular function. Although MG doesn’t negatively impact life expectancy, most patients suffering from MG experience an impaired quality of life and must depend on biologic therapies for (often incomplete) relief.
Luckily, recent advances in biologic pharmaceuticals like novel monoclonal antibodies have improved the outlook for patients suffering from MG. And impending improvements in drug administration and treatment logistics via in-office infusion centers promise to deliver in-kind quality of life improvements for these patients.
For healthcare professionals, maintaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace while ensuring the best possible patient health outcomes means offering a comprehensive treatment program for sufferers of MG. One that takes into account both the therapeutic effect of intervention, as well as the impact of the logistical component of intervention on MG Patients’ quality of life.
In-Market pharmaceuticals for Myasthenia Gravis
There are two different kinds of drug therapy for MG, each of which aims to address a different part of the problem. Doctors often prefer to start with acetylcholinesterase drug therapy, as it causes fewer known side effects. While effective, acetylcholinesterase therapy is seen as a temporary solution, since it cannot prevent or repair damaged receptors.
The other option is to use an immunosuppressant. Autoimmune illnesses like MG manifest when the body’s own defenses — its immune system — work against it. Immunosuppressants such as prednisone reduce the body’s overall immune response — including its attacks on muscle receptors. While prednisone works relatively well, its uptake is slow and the drug is associated with a number of side effects including bone volume loss, interruption of hormone production, and weight gain.
Because of these side effects, the hope is that recently-released and in-pipeline biologic drugs will be able to match or exceed prednisone’s results while eliminating its downsides.
Boosting Quality of Life for MG Patients with an In-Office Infusion Center
Regardless of the specific approach to therapy, an MG patient’s treatment plan often involves infusion treatments. Unfortunately, a patient’s quality of life may be significantly affected by the logistics of the infusion process.
Home infusions are complicated, uncomfortable, and can result in suboptimal patient outcomes. Hospital-based infusion centers are expensive, inconvenient, and stress-inducing — patients can find themselves crowded into busy, slow, loud wards, which can heighten patients’ stress and reduce their quality of life. MG patients are already dealing with a disease that diminishes their quality of life. Hospital Outpatient and At-Home treatment facilities compound the problem.
Infusion centers based in doctor’s offices offer the best of all worlds: they’re inexpensive, convenient, and relaxed, allowing patients to receive the best quality of care, and enabling doctors to deliver the best possible outcomes. But planning, opening, and managing infusion centers can be challenging for medical practices already struggling to manage their day-to-day. That's why it makes abundant sense to partner with an in-office infusion center management company like OI infusion services.
Call OI Infusion to take the first step towards setting up an in-office infusion treatment center today.