In Part 2 of this three part review of multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment with a particular focus on the Australian and New Zealand perspective, we review the newer therapies that have recently become available and emerging therapies that have now completed phase III clinical trial programs. We go on to compare the relative efficacies of these newer and emerging therapies alongside the existing therapies. The effectiveness of β-interferon in the treatment of different stages and the different disease courses of MS is critically reviewed with the conclusion that the absolute level of response in term of annualised relapse rates (where relapses occur) and MRI activity are similar, but are disappointing in terms of sustained disability progression for progressive forms of the disease. Finally we review the controversial area of combination therapy for MS. Whilst it remains the case that we have no cure or means of preventing MS, we do have a range of effective therapies that when used appropriately and early in the disease course can have a significant impact on short term and longer term outcomes.
- Evidence-based medicine
- Multiple sclerosis