The Majority of Parkinson’s Disease Patients Maintain Their Use of Key Therapies Throughout Drug Regimen Adjustments

Quarterly Treatment Algorithm Analysis for Parkinson’s Disease Now Available from Decision Resources

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the majority of recently treated Parkinson’s disease patients maintain their use of key therapies even as their drug regimens are subject to adjustments. For instance, analysis of U.S. patient level claims data in Treatment Algorithms in Parkinson’s Disease finds that 82 percent of use of Teva Pharmaceuticals’s monoamine oxidase type B (MAO-B) inhibitor Azilect among recently treated patients was from continuing business. Continuing business is defined as a patient maintaining treatment with a key therapy going into the last three months of the analysis. This finding reflects the chronic nature of Parkinson’s disease, which typically results in patients remaining on therapies long term.

Continuing business often results from the addition of Azilect to other PD therapies; approximately 40 percent of recently treated patients who migrate to Azilect from another therapy added this drug to levodopa. Claims data analysis also indicates that patients more frequently added Azilect to a dopamine agonist than switched from a dopamine agonist to Azilect. However, source of new business analysis—patients switching to or adding a key therapy during the last three months of the analysis or initiating treatment with a key therapy during this time as their first therapy for the disease—reveals that Azilect ranks second only to levodopa in use as initial therapy among recently treated patients, which could be attributed in part to the use of the drug as a first treatment in early Parkinson’s disease patients.

Azilect, along with levodopa and the dopamine agonists pramipexole (Boehringer Ingelheim’s Mirapex ER, Mirapex, generics) and ropinirole (GlaxoSmithKline’s Requip XL, Requip, generics) are mainstay treatments in the Parkinson’s disease treatment algorithm, with the three-times-daily formulations of the dopamine agonists experiencing greater use among recently treated patients than their once-daily counterparts, according to claims data analysis.

“The addition of Azilect to levodopa or dopamine agonist therapy in our claims analysis is in line with interviewed physicians’ practice of adding drugs to the existing drug regimen of a Parkinson’s disease patient when an adjustment to the treatment regimen is required, and these findings confirm that Azilect is considered an appropriate therapy for such use,” said Decision Resources Analyst Nadja Rozovsky, Ph.D. “With recently treated Parkinson’s disease patients spending on average five and a half months taking a previous therapy before adding a new therapy to their treatment regimen, it’s important for Parkinson’s disease drug manufacturers to understand the pathway to key therapies and where their drugs line up against their competition.”

The analysis is part of Decision Resources’ Treatment Algorithms series. Through examination of patient-level claims data, the Treatment Algorithms series provides exceptional insight into physicians’ prescribing trends and the factors that drive therapy choice, from diagnosis through multiple courses of treatment, for a specific disease. The Treatment Algorithms series is updated quarterly.

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Decision Resources
Lisa Osgood, 781-993-2606
[email protected]
Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort, 781-993-2597
[email protected]

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