However, the Uncertain Future of Automatic Reimbursement in Europe Could Constrain the Uptake of Emerging Combination Regimens, According to a New Report from Decision Resources
BURLINGTON, Mass., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, for the treatment of multiple myeloma, more surveyed European hematologist-oncologists consider the combination of immunomodulatory agents and proteasome inhibitors promising with respect to efficacy than is the case for any other drug regimen combinations. In light of these findings, the emerging regimen of Onyx Pharmaceuticals' carfilzomib in combination with Celgene's Revlimid has the potential to be the most efficacious strategy for multiple myeloma treatment.
The new European Physician & Payer Forum report entitled European Physician and Payer Perspectives in Myeloma: How Will Emerging Therapies Compete With Well-Entrenched Brands? explores the future market dynamics for this indication in light of several highly-promising emerging agents in multiple myeloma. Although other agents are frequently used to treat the indication, Revlimid, Janssen-Cilag's Velcade and Celgene's Thalidomide together captured more than 80 percent of the multiple myeloma market in 2008 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom (EU5).
"Most surveyed European hematologist-oncologists indicate that Velcade is commonly used in the first-line setting while Revlimid-based regimens are more commonly used in the second- and third-line," said Decision Resources Analyst Andrew Merron, Ph.D. "Emerging agents such as carfilzomib are expected to enter the relapsed/refractory settings and will be used either in combination with Revlimid, Velcade and Thalidomide or they will compete directly with these agents. Other key agents in late stage development include Celgene's pomalidomide, AEterna Zentaris/Keryx Biopharmaceuticals' perifosine, Merck's Zolinza and Novartis's panobinostat."
According to the report, most hematologist-oncologists in the EU5 consider patients who are relapsed from or refractory to Velcade to be candidates for carfilzomib in combination with Revlimid.
The report also finds that surveyed payers in both Germany and Spain are questioning how long automatic reimbursement of drugs that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency can last. While several countries have imposed mandatory price cuts on pharmaceuticals, or will do so imminently, the uncertain future of automatic reimbursement policies may have an even more significant market impact than mandatory price cuts.
"Interviewed payers have warned that the days of automatic reimbursement of high-cost targeted cancer therapies may be numbered, particularly when multiple new drugs become available for an indication like myeloma," Dr. Merron said.
The report is based on a survey of 251 hematologist-oncologists from Germany (52), France (50), Italy (49), Spain (50) and the United Kingdom (50) and interviews with 15 European payers from Germany (3), France (3), Italy (3), Spain (3) and the United Kingdom (3).
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