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Survey: Reduced Rate of Exacerbations Is Key Unmet Need in Asthma Patients

Payers are receptive to reimbursing new therapies that offer clinical improvements (July 1)

In a survey conducted by Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm based in Burlington, Mass., pulmonologists in the U.S. and Europe agree that a drug’s effect on reducing the exacerbation rate is one of the attributes that most influences their prescribing for persistent asthma. Clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders indicate that no current or emerging therapy is currently positioned to surpass the market-leading therapy, fluticasone propionate (Advair, GlaxoSmithKline), on this measure.

The report also finds that surveyed U.S. and European pulmonologists and pharmacy directors at U.S. managed care organizations (MCOs) consider therapies that improve measures of the exacerbation rate to be one of the greatest unmet needs for persistent asthma.

In line with identifying improvement on measures of exacerbation as the highest unmet need, the report also finds that surveyed U.S. MCO pharmacy directors are most receptive to new therapies for persistent asthma that offer a reduced rate of severe exacerbations over currently available therapies. These payers are more willing to accept higher prices for this measure than for improvements in lung function, reduced hospitalization rates, or improvements in the dosing burden.

“Both surveyed payers and pulmonologists are tolerant of higher prices for therapies that offer a substantial reduction in the exacerbation rate compared with Advair,” said analyst Colleen Albacker, PhD. “Payers and physicians will be looking for novel therapies to decrease exacerbations for the more-severe patients, offering disease control and preventing unexpected physician and hospital visits. However, while some hold promise, current clinical trial results for emerging therapies do not demonstrate the levels of efficacy needed to secure a premium price with the majority of payers.”

Source: Decision Resources; July 1, 2013.

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