Forty Four Percent of Surveyed Rheumatologists Who Expect to Prescribe Arzerra for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Say The

Half of Surveyed MCOs Expect to Add Additional Cost Control Measures For Coverage of Biologic Agents for RA, According to a New Report from Decision Resources

BURLINGTON, Mass., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 44 percent of surveyed rheumatologists who expect to prescribe Genmab/GlaxoSmithKline's Arzerra say they will prescribe Arzerra before Biogen Idec/Roche/Chugai/Zenyaku Kogyo's Rituxan. Only 22 percent of surveyed rheumatologists who do not expect to prescribe Arzerra cited their satisfaction with Rituxan as a reason they do not expect to prescribe Arzerra, following its expected launch for the indication in 2013.

The new Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Emerging Biologics and Novel Oral Agents in RA: How Will New Agents Secure Market Share and Payer Acceptance in a Crowded Market? also finds that surveyed rheumatologists who expect to prescribe Roche/Chugai's Actemra estimate that most patients treated with Actemra by the end of 2013 will have failed at least one other non-TNF-alpha inhibitor. Actemra's efficacy is a strong reason that surveyed rheumatologists prescribe the drug. Among the key reasons they prescribe Actemra, 37 percent of surveyed rheumatologists currently prescribing Actemra cited clinical trials showing the drug's comparable efficacy to that of TNF-alpha inhibitors such as Amgen/Pfizer/Takeda's Enbrel and Abbott/Eisai's Humira.

Although TNF-alpha inhibitors and conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) will continue to dominate the RA market through 2013, Pfizer's emerging oral agent tasocitinib will carve out a significant market niche. On average, surveyed rheumatologists estimate that 60 percent of their DMARD-treated RA patients currently receive conventional DMARDs and 45 percent receive TNF-alpha inhibitors and they expect these shares to decrease to 54 percent and 39 percent, respectively, by the end of 2013.

"The Jak-3 inhibitor tasocitinib will capture the largest patient share of non-TNF-alpha inhibitor therapies by the end of 2013, achieving a similar patient share to that of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Orencia and surpassing by a slight margin the patient shares of Rituxan and Actemra," said Decision Resources Analyst Benjamin Guikema, Ph.D. "Tasocitinib's oral composition and efficacy could position this agent in early lines of RA therapy, potentially even before the TNF-alpha inhibitors."

The report also finds that one half of surveyed managed care organizations' (MCO) pharmacy directors expect to institute additional cost control measures over the next three years in their policies regarding the coverage of biologic agents for RA. Through 2013, 60 percent of surveyed pharmacy directors who expect to add additional cost control measures expect to extend step therapy requirements to require use of preferred biologics before non-preferred biologics.

The report is based on a U.S. survey of 100 rheumatologists and 20 MCO pharmacy directors.

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SOURCE Decision Resources