Background: Delayed-release dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is effective in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), but long-term effects of DMF on disability and disease progression in clinical settings are unknown. We evaluated disability and employment outcomes in persons with RRMS treated with DMF for up to 5 years.
Methods: This longitudinal study included US North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) Registry participants with RRMS reporting DMF initiation in fall 2013 through spring 2018 with 1 year or more of follow-up. Time to 6-month confirmed disability progression (≥1-point increase in Patient-Determined Disease Steps [PDDS] scale score) and change in employment status were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Participants were censored at last follow-up or at DMF discontinuation, whichever came first.
Results: During the study, 725 US participants with RRMS had at least 1 year of DMF follow-up data, of whom most were female and White. At year 5, 69.9% (95% CI, 65.4%–73.9%) of these participants were free from 6-month confirmed disability progression, and 84.7% (95% CI, 78.6%–89.2%) were free from conversion to secondary progressive MS. Of 116 participants with data at baseline and year 5, most had stable or improved PDDS scale and Performance Scales scores over 5 years. Of 322 participants 62 years and younger and employed at the index survey, 66.0% (95% CI, 57.6%–73.1%) were free from a negative change in employment type over 5 years.
Conclusions: Most US NARCOMS Registry participants treated up to 5 years with DMF remained free from 6-month confirmed disability progression and conversion to secondary progressive MS and had stable disability and employment status. These results support the long-term stability of disability and work-related outcomes with disease-modifying therapy.