Dr. Avasarala Selected to Prestigious International Panel Reviewing DMTs for MS
Jagannadha “Jay” Avasarala, MD, PhD, has been selected to represent the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in an international group reviewing disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Avasarala will be part of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) Essential Medicines Panel. Through this role he will help provide guidance on how many different types of multiple sclerosis DMTs should be made available as a minimum in all health systems, including low-resource settings. He also will help select specific DMTs to put forward to the World Health Organization Essential Medicine List.
The focus will be on all on-label DMTs, as well as off-label DMTs azathioprine and rituximab.
According to MSIF’s recent Atlas of MS survey, 72 percent of countries have major barriers to accessing DMTs.
“The program is the first-of-its-kind approach to a critical analysis of disease-modifying therapies in multiple sclerosis,” Dr. Avasarala said. “As representative of the American Academy of Neurology, I carry significant responsibility of how we analyze each of these medications including non-FDA approved therapies.”
Panel members will attend between 10-15 virtual meetings from August 2021 to December 2022. Their work will be submitted for publication and to the WHO in 2022.
Dr. Avasarala is chairman of AAN and a professor of neurology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine with specialized training in diagnosing and treating multiple sclerosis. More than two decades after completing a medical internship at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Avasarala joined the faculty at the UK Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, where he utilizes his experience in translational research in multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Avasarala completed his neurology residency training at New York Medical College and St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in multiple sclerosis at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as a recipient of the National MS Fellowship Award.