More than a Third of Rheumatologists Expect to Prescribe Arzerra

September 17, 2010

A survey of rheumatologists reveals that 44% of those that expect to prescribe Genmab/GaxoSmithKline's Arzerra say they will prescribe Arzerra before Biogen Idec/Roche/Chugai/Zenyaku Kogyo's Rituxan.

A survey of rheumatologists reveals that 44% of those that expect to prescribe Genmab/GaxoSmithKline’s Arzerra say they will prescribe Arzerra before Biogen Idec/Roche/Chugai/Zenyaku Kogyo’s Rituxan.

The survey was performed by Decision Resources, a research and advisory firm for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues. The survey also revealed that only 22% of the rheumatologists who do not expect to prescribe Arzerra cited their satisfaction with Rituxan as a reason why the do not expect to prescribe Arzerra.

A new Physician & Payer Forum report also finds that surveyed rheumatologists who expect to prescribe Roche/Chugai’s Actemra estimate that most patients treated with Actemra by the end of 2013 will have failed at least one other non-TNF-alpha inhibitor. The rheumatologists (37%) also said one of the key reasons they prescribed Actemra was the data from clinical trials that demonstrated its efficacy.

On average the surveyed rheumatologists estimated that 60% of their patients treated with Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) currently receive conventional DMARDs and 45 percent receive TNF-alpha inhibitors.

"The Jak-3 inhibitor tasocitinib will capture the largest patient share of non-TNF-alpha inhibitor therapies by the end of 2013, achieving a similar patient share to that of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Orencia and surpassing by a slight margin the patient shares of Rituxan and Actemra," said Decision Resources Analyst Benjamin Guikema, PhD, in a press release. "Tasocitinib's oral composition and efficacy could position this agent in early lines of RA therapy, potentially even before the TNF-alpha inhibitors."

Additionally, the report found that one half of surveyed managed care organizations' pharmacy directors expect to institute additional cost control measures in their policies regarding the coverage of biologic agents for RA. The report found that 60% of surveyed pharmacy directors who expect to add additional cost control measures expect to extend step therapy requirements to require use of preferred biologics before non-preferred biologics through 2013.