Despite Safety Concerns, Actemra Usage Increases Among TNF-Refractory Patients Who Have Failed One or Two Biologics

EXTON, Pa., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends is pleased to announce the publication of the second wave of a syndicated report, LaunchTrends®: ACTEMRA.  Actemra (tocilizumab), marketed by Roche-Genentech, is the first IL-6 receptor inhibitor agent approved for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This report is the second in a three-wave series derived from on-line survey responses from 80 rheumatologists and qualitative interviews with 20 rheumatologists.

At three months post-launch, compared to the prior wave at one month post-launch, a higher proportion of rheumatologists have tried Actemra and the number of RA patients who received Actemra per prescriber has almost doubled.  Actemra performed as well as (or in some cases better than) UCB's Cimzia or Centocor Ortho Biotech's Simponi on short-term post-launch metrics of physician trial rate, number of patients treated, and physician satisfaction.  Approximately one-quarter of the surveyed rheumatologists already slate Actemra as their second-line biologic agent, however, most rheumatologists still view Actemra as a third or later line choice.  Patient origination is largely derived from the three established TNF alpha inhibitors: Amgen/Pfizer's Enbrel, Abbott's Humira and Centocor Ortho Biotech's Remicade.  Rheumatologists consider Actemra's greatest advantage to be its unique mechanism of action coupled with its ability to work where other biologics have failed.  Concern about safety and side effects is considered the greatest disadvantage of Actemra with heightened concern about hepatotoxicity specifically.  

LaunchTrends: Actemra is a three-wave primary market research study that consists of a quantitative on-line survey and qualitative telephone interviews.  In total, more than 300 rheumatologists will participate in the research.  This report series evaluates post-launch effectiveness at one-month, three-month, and six-month intervals.  Trends are compared over time including trial and usage of Actemra, typical patient types, line of therapy, product perceptions, promotional detailing and messaging, impact of DTC  advertising, and perceptions of manufacturers' co-pay assistance programs.  The third and final wave of this study will field in July 2010 with the results available in August 2010.  

Market dynamics for the biologic class will continue to be covered in TreatmentTrends®: Rheumatoid Arthritis, an on-going quarterly series.  The Q2 2010 TreatmentTrends: Rheumatoid Arthritis report will also be published in August 2010.

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