The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the prescription of multiple sclerosis medication in Germany

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


  • Jonathan Orschiedt - , Technische Universität München (Autor:in)
  • Elizabeth Jacyshyn-Owen - , Temedica GmbH (Autor:in)
  • Maria Kahn - , Temedica GmbH (Autor:in)
  • Sven Jansen - , Noventi Health SE (Autor:in)
  • Natalie Joschko - , Roche Pharma AG (Autor:in)
  • Markus Eberl - , Temedica GmbH (Autor:in)
  • Sebastian Schneeweiss - , Brigham and Women's Hospital (Autor:in)
  • Benjamin Friedrich - , Temedica GmbH (Autor:in)
  • Tjalf Ziemssen - , Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie (Autor:in)


BACKGROUND: Real-word evidence from diverse data sources is increasingly important in terms of generating rapid insights to effectively manage patient populations, especially during major public health disruptions such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Patients with chronic and inflammatory diseases - such as multiple sclerosis (MS) - were reported to experience potentially negative effects due to the use of immunosuppressive drugs in combination with a COVID-19 infection. In this research, we explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medication use in patients with MS in Germany.

METHODS: Patient-level pharmacy dispensing data from the Permea platform - covering approximately 44% of all community pharmacy dispensing in Germany - were analysed from 2019 - 2021. Longitudinal use patterns of MS medication and antidepressants and patient demographics were assessed. Daily variation in MS medication use was specifically studied around the dates of the first and second lockdowns in Germany.

RESULTS: We included data from 539,400 prescriptions which included at least 1 MS drug. The medication data showed a stable level of monthly prescriptions for MS medication at 2.02 ± 0.03 prescriptions per pharmacy during the study period. Although there was a sharp increase in daily prescriptions before the first lockdown (from an average 660.08 ± 137.59 daily prescriptions in the observed period to a maximum dispensing number of 998 daily prescriptions), the overall number of prescriptions remained at pre-pandemic levels (603 ± 90.31 daily prescriptions in 2019). Similar trends were observed for monthly co-prescribed antidepressant use per pharmacy (0.10 ± 0.01 in 2019-0.11 ± 0.02 in 2020).

CONCLUSION: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of MS medications and co-prescribed antidepressants was stable. These insights from real-world data demonstrate the value of evidence-based insights for managing patient care.


Seiten (von - bis)114129
FachzeitschriftBiomedicine & pharmacotherapy
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Feb. 2023

Externe IDs

PubMedCentral PMC9756211
Scopus 85144017234


Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung


  • Humans, Pandemics, Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy, COVID-19/epidemiology, Communicable Disease Control, Drug Prescriptions