At Least One Half of Surveyed European Dermatologists Say They Are Likely to Delay Their Prescribing of Tofacitinib until

Between 11 Percent and 31 Percent of Patients Who Are Eligible For a Biologic Do Not Receive One Due to Reimbursement or Budget Restrictions, According to a New Report from Decision Resources

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, at least one half of surveyed dermatologists across the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) will likely wait until Pfizer’s Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib has accumulated favorable postmarketing safety data before they will prescribe it. However, if tofacitinib’s long-term safety record is favorable, with efficacy that is at least comparable to Pfizer’s Enbrel, this agent has the potential to compete directly with the leading biologic agents that are currently approved in Europe for psoriasis: Enbrel, Merck’s Remicade, Abbott’s Humira and Janssen/Cilag’s Stelara.

The new European Physician & Payer Forum report entitled European Physician and Payer Perspectives on Emerging Immunomodulators in Psoriasis also finds that the majority of surveyed dermatologists in the EU5 indicate that they will prescribe Isotechnika’s emerging calcinuerin inhibitor voclosporin, following its launch for psoriasis. Voclosporin is likely to be used early in the treatment algorithm for psoriasis, either as a first-line systemic treatment option or in patients who have failed one or more oral therapy. By the end of 2014, Decision Resources expects three novel oral systemic agents—voclosporin, tofacitinib and Celgene’s phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) inhibitor apremilast—to launch in Europe for the treatment of psoriasis.

The report also finds that surveyed dermatologists in the EU5 are less likely to prescribe apremilast than either voclosporin or tofacitinib.

“Among the nearly one quarter of physicians who do not plan to prescribe apremilast, the majority indicate that they do not see any advantages of this drug over currently marketed therapies,” said Decision Resources Analyst Iva Holder, Ph.D. “Those who say they will prescribe apremilast will likely use it as a later-line oral systemic treatment by the end of 2014.”

The findings also reveal that surveyed European dermatologists estimate that between 31 and 45 percent of moderate-to-severe psoriasis patients who are candidates for biologics do not receive these drugs. Dermatologists in each of the EU5 countries follow prescribing guidelines for psoriasis established by national medical societies and, according to surveyed physicians, biologic candidates who do not meet the criteria outlined in these guidelines are the most likely to remain undertreated. Additionally, between 11 percent and 31 percent of patients who are eligible for a biologic do not receive one due to reimbursement or budget restrictions.

“Restrictions at the hospital level are more persuasive in limiting the prescribing of biologics in Spain, whereas regional authorities’ limitations feature prominently as a constraining factor in the prescribing of biologic therapy for psoriasis in Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany. In addition, restrictions imposed by indicative prescribing amounts in Germany are also considered key in limiting access to biologics in this country,” Dr. Holder said.

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Christopher Comfort, 781-993-2597
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