Survey Examines Efficacy of Actemra on Rheumatoid Arthritis

A new a study, published by BioTrends, finds rheumatologists are eager to use Roche-Genentecha's Actemra in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

A new a study, published by BioTrends, finds rheumatologists are eager to use Roche-Genentech’s Actemra in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Actemra, marketed by Roche-Genentech is the first IL-6 receptor inhibitor agent approved for rheumatoid arthritis.

The data comes from the first wave of a survey conducted by BioTrends. The survey LaunchTrends: Actemra is a three wave market research study that consists of a quantitative on-line survey and qualitative telephone interview. A total of 300 rheumatologists are expected to participate. The report will examine the efficacy of launch at one month, three months and six months post-launch.

The first wave is completed and included online survey responses from 77 rheumatologists and qualitative interviews with 20 rheumatologists. More than one-third of the survey respondents said they had already started to use Actemra for treating their patients. While the majority of respondents said they consider the drug to be a third line (or later) option, they also reported expecting it could advance to second line therapy following a single TNF failure.

The rheumatologists surveyed reported that they viewed the unique mechanism of action as the drug’s greatest attribute. More than 80 percent expect to be using Actemra in their practice. However, concerns with long term safety, certain side effects and managed care access are potential obstacles to rapid adoption.