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Survey: Emerging Biologics Offer Improved Efficacy and Safety for Psoriasis Patients

Drug’s effect on plaques at 12 to 16 weeks affects prescribing decisions (June 24)

In a survey conducted by Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm based in Burlington, Mass., dermatologists in the U.S. and Europe agree that a drug’s effect on psoriatic plaques at 12 to 16 weeks is one of the attributes that most influences their prescribing decisions in moderate-to-severe psoriasis. Clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders indicate that emerging biologics that target interleukin-17 (IL-17) have the potential to offer improvements over sales-leading adalimumab (Humira, AbbVie/Eisai) on this attribute.

The report also finds that surveyed U.S. and European dermatologists, as well as pharmacy directors at U.S. managed care organization (MCOs), consider treatments with a lower risk of serious infections than that of current therapies to be one of the greatest unmet needs in moderate-to-severe psoriasis. Interviewed thought leaders do not believe that any emerging therapies have demonstrated a clear potential to fulfill this unmet need. However, they are optimistic that agents with more-targeted mechanisms of action, including the IL-17 inhibitors, may offer improved safety compared with those that target multiple molecules or molecules that affect multiple downstream pathways.

The findings also reveal that more MCO pharmacy directors are willing to grant favorable formulary status to therapies that offer improvements in safety compared with those that would grant this status to agents with improvements in efficacy. However, for drugs that are priced at a premium (i.e., higher) compared with adalimumab, MCO pharmacy directors indicate that improvements in the risk of serious infections will need to be substantial to secure reimbursement.

“When asked about factors influencing their treatment decisions, surveyed U.S. and European dermatologists assigned a high weight to a therapy’s effect on psoriatic plaques at 12 to 6 weeks. However, they did not identify this attribute as an area of high unmet need,” said analyst Laura Croal, PhD. “The current market contains several biologic therapies with high levels of plaque clearance at 12 to 16 weeks. Greater unmet need was indicated for improvements on serious infection rates and sustained response rates beyond 1 year.”

Source: Decision Resources; June 24, 2013.

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