US Nephrologists Report Management Changes in Kidney Disease

EXTON, Pa., July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, Inc. recently published its TreatmentTrends®: US Nephrology Q2 2010 report. This quarterly report series is based on online survey results from over 100 Nephrologists and captures physician attitudes, perceptions and self-reported behavior with a focus on renal anemia and bone and mineral metabolism.  

In the renal anemia market, the use of erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESAs) in patients with chronic kidney disease, not on dialysis (CKD-ND) continues to decline with significantly fewer CKD Stage 4 patients on ESAs compared to the prior year.  In fact, the percent of CKD-ND patients being treated with ESAs is the lowest it has been since BioTrends began tracking this market. Just three years ago, the percent of CKD Stage 4 patients on ESAs was almost twenty percentage points higher than the current figure. Currently only 39 percent and 50 percent of Nephrologists respectively, report that Amgen's Aranesp and Centocor Ortho-Biotech's Procrit perform well on long-term safety and the mean safety ratings for both of these products have decreased significantly compared to the prior year. Changes are also occurring with promotion of ESAs; contact rates for Aranesp, Procrit and Amgen's Epogen are all significantly lower than the prior year.

In the intravenous (IV) iron market, AMAG's Feraheme is now the most commonly stocked IV iron product and the introduction of Feraheme seems to be impacting IV iron administration location with significantly more patients receiving IV iron in the Nephrologist's office compared to the same quarter last year. Despite these changes, American Regent / Fresenius Medical Care's Venofer remains the market share leader among IV iron treated hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and CKD-ND patients. And, while Feraheme use is trending up, Feraheme market share did not increase significantly compared to the prior quarter. Nephrologists continue to expect increased use of IV iron in all patient segments in the coming months which could have positive implications for Venofer, Feraheme and Sanofi-Aventis' Ferrlecit.

Changes are also taking place in the bone and mineral metabolism market, particularly among CKD-ND patients. Use of phosphate binders in this patient group is significantly lower than the same quarter last year whereas use of active vitamin D in Stage 4 CKD patients is significantly higher. While Abbott's Zemplar continues to lead on most active vitamin D attributes, more Nephrologists than in prior quarters feel that Zemplar and Genzyme's Hectorol are interchangeable. Use of Amgen's Sensipar in hemodialysis patients is trending higher this quarter compared to the past year and there are signs that Amgen may be making headway in earlier initiation of the product, one factor which has historically limited its use.

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