Survey of US Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: Comparison of the New Electronic Interferon Beta-1b Autoinjector (BETACONNECT™) With Mechanical Autoinjectors

Donald A. Barone, Barry A. Singer, Lubo Merkov, Mark Rametta, Gustavo Suarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction: Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) generally undergo long-term treatment with disease-modifying therapies (DMTs). In the US, patients taking glatiramer acetate, interferon beta-1a, or interferon beta-1b, typically use a mechanical autoinjector. Recent survey results have shown that using an electronic autoinjector, such as BETACONNECT™ (Bayer Pharma AG) for interferon beta-1b/Betaseron® (Bayer Pharma AG) may reduce injection discomfort and increase patient satisfaction with treatment. The aim of the current survey was to assess patient perceptions of BETACONNECT compared with mechanical autoinjectors using a survey integrated with demonstrations and simulated injections with BETACONNECT. Methods: Patients with MS currently using mechanical autoinjectors for glatiramer acetate/Copaxone® (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.), interferon beta-1a/Rebif® (EMD Serono Inc.), or interferon beta-1b/Extavia® (Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.), participated in a 60-min in-person interview. Patients rated the importance of 18 ideal autoinjector attributes, and the performance of their current autoinjectors across these attributes. BETACONNECT was demonstrated and patients performed simulated injections with BETACONNECT before rating it across the same attributes. Patient overall autoinjector preference was assessed. Results: Ninety patients completed the survey: 63 were using autoinjectors for Copaxone, 25 for Rebif, and 2 for Extavia. BETACONNECT scored higher than mechanical autoinjectors across all 18 attributes. The top attributes of an ideal autoinjector were the injection process is easy overall, easy to push the button to start the injection, and autoinjector is comfortable to hold during injections. Unique BETACONNECT features most valued by patients were the built-in dwell time, self-check function, greater ability to customize injections, adjustment of injection speed, low injection noise, and automatic needle retraction. Overall, 75 out of 90 patients (83%) expressed a preference for BETACONNECT over their current autoinjector. Conclusion: BETACONNECT attributes and features were highly rated by patients, compared with both an ideal autoinjector and their current mechanical autoinjectors. These findings suggest that the use of BETACONNECT may increase patient satisfaction and potentially increase overall medication adherence. Funding: Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
JournalNeurology and Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Survey of US Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: Comparison of the New Electronic Interferon Beta-1b Autoinjector (BETACONNECT™) With Mechanical Autoinjectors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this