KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 – Sanofi has launched a patient leaflet on multiple sclerosis (MS) that will be distributed across hospitals that treat the autoimmune disease.
The pharmaceutical company’s leaflets were launched during its “World vs MS” event in Petaling Jaya in conjunction with World MS Day to raise awareness on the neurological disease that leads to brain degeneration.
“We hope to make this leaflet more accessible to a wider patient base and aim to educate patients as well as their caregivers on how to better manage and understand MS.
“The public is also urged to seek medical help if they score 4 out of 5 in the MS symptoms checklist available in the patient leaflet,” Quek Wee Ling, genzyme business unit head, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, of Sanofi said in a statement.
MS affects 767 Malaysians, of which 59.4 per cent are Malay, 20.5 per cent Indian, 16.6 per cent Chinese and 3.5 per cent from the indigenous group. Women are five times more likely to get MS than men.
“Many MS patients are misdiagnosed as some of the signs can be vague or similar to other conditions. It is important to monitor and describe the types and patterns of symptoms in detail to your doctor or neurologist,” said Dr Shanthi Viswanathan, consultant neurologist of Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
“If you are diagnosed with MS, research and discuss the treatment options with your doctor. Current evidence suggests that early recognition and treatment with disease modifying treatments (DMT) is important to avoid relapses and disability progression that significantly impacts patient’s quality of life”.
Some of the common MS symptoms include numbness, tingling, abnormal sensation, weakness, mobility problems, vertigo, visual problems and pain ranging from mild to severe.
MS patient Nur Atiqah, who was at Sanofi’s “World vs MS” launch, said she was currently on DMT.
“This has helped me to regain a level of control, confidence and quality of life, where now I can now write stories to occupy my time, hopefully make a living and live my life as the way it’s supposed to be with MS,” she said.
Dr Shiva Patil, medical head, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore of Sanofi said Sanofi was committed to fostering global improvements in MS care by working with health care providers, government officials, patient advocacy groups, and policy makers.
“With a focus on unmet needs faced by the MS community, we are working to drive greater urgency around initiating effective treatment”.