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Tue 1 May 2007 05:40 PM

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Docs fail on MS medications

Physicians are failing to prescribe immune-modulating drugs to people with multiple sclerosis, despite studies documenting the benefits for MS patients, warns new research.

Physicians are failing to prescribe immune-modulating drugs to people with multiple sclerosis, despite studies documenting the benefits for MS patients, warns new research.

Dr Jagannadha R. Avasarala of Kansas State Neurological Consultants, Wichita, and colleagues analysed data on approximately 6.7 million clinic visits by MS patients between 1998 and 2004.

About 62% of patients who saw a neurologist, and 92% seen by family practitioners and internists, were not taking immunomodulatory agents.

Avasarala said they could not determine why these drugs were not being prescribed. However, he noted that the higher prescribing rate by neurologists "probably reflects greater awareness of the drugs' availability and their use by specialists who more often treat patients with MS."

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