EXTON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Results from an on-line survey fielded just prior to the FDA approval of Victrelis (boceprevir by Merck & Co.) and Incivek (telaprevir by Vertex/Johnson & Johnson/Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma) suggest that uptake of the new protease inhibitors will be rapid and that a significant proportion of Hepatitis C (HCV) patients have been delaying treatment in anticipation of these new agents.
In TreatmentTrends®: Hepatitis C, BioTrends surveyed 150 gastroenterologists, hepatologists and infectious disease specialists about their current treatment of HCV, perceptions of Roche’s Pegasys and Merck & Co’s PegIntron, and anticipated future changes in disease management with emphasis on the expected use of Victrelis and Incivek.
The vast majority of respondents reported a high unmet need for HCV treatment options and noted that a high proportion of both prior treatment failures and treatment-naïve patients were waiting for approval of the new protease inhibitors before initiating (or re-initiating) therapy. In fact, the survey respondents reported that the leading change in treatment patterns over the past year was the “warehousing” of patients (delaying treatment) in anticipation of the approval of new treatment options. Within six months, respondents estimate that approximately three-quarters of genotype 1 HCV patients will be treated with the triple regimen of a protease inhibitor, peg-interferon and ribavirin.
Pegasys and PegIntron will likely see a boost related to the warehoused patients being initiated on triple therapy regimens. However, physicians are divided about which peg-interferon they will likely choose for these combination regimens. About one-third of the respondents report that they will follow the clinical trial regimen (PegIntron/Victrelis or Pegasys/Incivek), another third will use the peg-interferons interchangeably with either protease inhibitor and the remaining third will stick with their preferred peg-interferon regardless of which protease inhibitor brand they select.
The most desired attributes in new agents for the treatment of HCV were all efficacy oriented, despite the fact that many patients discontinue HCV therapy due to poor tolerability. There were no significant differences in familiarity or interest ratings between Victrelis and Incivek, although the survey respondents predicted higher market share for Incivek in the first six months of launch. BioTrends will follow the market uptake of Victrelis and Incivek in its LaunchTrends series, which will pulse the market at one, three and six months post launch to assess trial and adoption, promotional efforts and obstacles to growth for both brands.
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