Indirect comparisons of treatment effects: Network meta-analyses

Mult Scler. 2017 Apr;23(4):510-512. doi: 10.1177/1352458517690272. Epub 2017 Feb 17.


Many therapeutic options are now available for patients with multiple sclerosis. While the efficacy of each drug has been assessed against placebo or, more recently, against interferon, no direct comparisons of these new therapies have been conducted in randomized clinical trials. Therefore, indirect treatment comparisons are needed to inform clinical decisions. In this brief report, some basic concepts about network meta-analyses that are the formal methods used to run multiple indirect treatment comparisons are reviewed when applied in the context of multiple sclerosis studies.

Keywords: Indirect treatment comparisons; network meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Network Meta-Analysis*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Research Design*