Entacapone Was Selected by Nearly Half of Surveyed Neurologists as the Most Effective Levodopa-Adjunct Treatment for Advan

However, Only Ten Percent of Surveyed MCO Pharmacy Directors Selected Entacapone as the Most Effective Levodopa-Adjunct Treatment For the Indication, According to Findings from Decision Resources

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that entacapone (Novartis/Orion’s Comtan/Comtess, Novartis/Orion’s Stalevo) was selected by nearly half of surveyed neurologists (48 percent) as the most effective levodopa-adjunct treatment for advanced Parkinson’s disease, when compared to other available therapies. However, in stark contrast to this finding, only ten percent of surveyed managed care organizations’ (MCOs) pharmacy directors selected entacapone as the most effective levodopa-adjunct treatment for the indication.

The findings from Decision Resources’ analysis of the Parkinson’s disease drug market reveal that the neurologists who chose entacapone as the most efficacious treatment are most satisfied with its effect on primary motor symptoms and impact on activities of daily living (ADL) and, consequently, with its effect on global outcome. These neurologists are also highly satisfied with the drug on its effect on motor fluctuations, a result that likely reflects the drug’s approval for such symptoms. However, the low percentage of payers who identify entacapone as the most efficacious advanced Parkinson’s disease therapy suggests a poor level of awareness among surveyed payers about the drug’s attributes and/or data supporting the drug compared with other drugs in the survey.

The findings also reveal that although interviewed experts have similar views of immediate-release and extended-release pramipexole (Boehringer Ingelheim’s Mirapex/Mirapexin/Sifrol/BI-Sifrol, generics; Mirapex ER/Mirapexin ER, Sifrol Retard) and immediate-release and controlled-release ropinirole (GlaxoSmithKline’s Requip, generics; GlaxoSmithKline/SkyePharma’s Requip XL/LP/RP/Modutab/Prolib), a higher percentage of surveyed neurologists chose pramipexole (26 percent) over ropinirole (18 percent) as the most effective agent for the treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease.

“Clinical studies provide equal support for the efficacy of both pramipexole and ropinirole and neurologist-assigned satisfaction scores for both products are comparable across many efficacy measures tested,” said Decision Resources Analyst Sami Fam, Ph.D. “Reflecting pramipexole’s antidepressant qualities, physicians who chose this agent indicated greater satisfaction with the drug’s effect on mood versus physicians who selected the other agents in our survey as the most efficacious therapy.”

Surveyed neurologists and MCO pharmacy directors agree that the effect on general measures of levodopa-induced motor complications is one of the attributes that most influences their decisions regarding prescribing and tier placement decisions, respectively, in advanced Parkinson’s disease. Clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders indicate the emerging therapy safinamide (Merck Serono/EMD Serono/Newron Pharmaceuticals) has advantages over current and other emerging therapies on this attribute.

The findings also reveal that overall sales of therapies to treat Parkinson's disease will increase modestly from $2.6 billion in 2009 to $3 billion in 2019 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan. Although major market sales will be driven by the increased uptake of key current therapies and the launch of new agents, growth through 2019 will be offset by generic competition. The market will continue to be driven by the leading dopamine agonists, pramipexole and ropinirole as well as by the reentry of rotigotine (UCB/Schwarz Pharma’s Neupro) in the U.S. market and its wider use in Europe.

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Decision Resources provides a comprehensive view of what is happening in a specific drug market now and in the decade ahead. The research includes analysis of the unmet need and near-term drug development opportunities that exist within a drug market powered by primary research from physicians and payers. The robust market forecast and opportunities analysis is comprised of the Pharmacor 2011 advisory service and the DecisionBase 2011 report series.

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Decision Resources, Inc.
Christopher Comfort, 781-993-2597
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