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Survey: Induction of Remission Influences Prescribing Decisions in RA

Improved remission remains key unmet need (June 19)

Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm based in Burlington, Mass., finds that, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the majority of surveyed U.S. and European rheumatologists cite a therapy’s induction of remission as one of the attributes that most influences their prescribing decisions.

More than 60% and 70% of U.S. and European rheumatologists, respectively, rank the percentage of patients achieving remission at 6 months as one of the top three most persuasive endpoints when prescribing a new drug for RA.

In the survey, rheumatologists also indicated that there is a moderate unmet need for therapies with a greater ability to induce remission. Therapies with a greater ability to induce remission at 6 months have an opportunity for product differentiation.

The report also finds that, according to interviewed thought leaders and clinical data, tocilizumab (Actemra, Roche) has a minor advantage over adalimumab (Humira, AbbVie/Eisai) because of its ability to effect remission at 6 months, whereas tofacitinib (Xeljanz, Pfizer/Takeda) is at a disadvantage to adalimumab on this endpoint.

“However, in spite of thought-leader opinion and clinical trial-data support for IV tocilizumab’s excellent efficacy, the drug is predominantly used as a later-line biologic because of payer restrictions, concerns about monitoring and managing its side effects, its more-limited postmarketing experience, and its need for IV infusion,” said analyst Madhuri Borde, PhD.

Source: Decision Resources; June 19, 2013.

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