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Report: Gastroenterologists Have Increased Their Use of TNF-Alpha Inhibitors for Ulcerative Colitis

Infliximab is most popular first-line biologic (November 14)

Through an examination of patient-level claims data, Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm located in Burlington, Mass., finds that the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitor drug class has experienced growth in all three lines of therapy, particularly the second and third lines, for patients with newly diagnosed ulcerative colitis (UC).

The report also finds that Remicade (infliximab, Janssen) is the most-prescribed biologic agent for recently treated UC patients, followed by Humira (adalimumab, AbbVie). The patient share for Humira, however, has grown 41% over the past year under study, likely because of its FDA approval in September 2012 for the treatment of UC. Overall, the use of TNF-alpha inhibitors has increased by 17% since 2012.

The findings also show that Remicade is more often used as a first-line biologic and therefore has more continuing patients compared with Humira. However, since Humira is typically used as a later-line biologic, it draws more patients from adding or switching.

“Both Remicade and Humira have very high compliance and persistency rates, which is likely adding to the increased prescriptions,” said analyst Jen Dolga. “However, it is important to note that, despite the growth in biologic use, oral aminosalicylates remain the most commonly prescribed drug class for both newly diagnosed and recently treated patients, indicating that a less intimidating side-effect profile is still important to gastroenterologists.”

Source: Decision Resources; November 14, 2013.

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