WALTHAM, Mass., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Teva Pharmaceutical's Copaxone has the greatest patient share among first- and second-line therapies, and falls short of Merck Serono/Pfizer's Rebif (by 0.2 percent) in third-line treatment. However, in all three lines of therapy, the interferon-beta drug class (Biogen Idec's Avonex, Rebif, and Berlex's Betaseron) outpaces the altered peptide ligand drug class (consisting only of Copaxone) in patient share. Competition between the two drug classes is fiercest in first-line therapy.
"The low volume of patient share attributed to Avonex or Rebif compared with Copaxone in first- and second-line treatment illustrates a significant delay on the part of physicians and/or patients to engage in an interferon- beta therapy within a year of a patient's initial diagnosis for multiple sclerosis," said Madhuri Borde, analyst at Decision Resources. "However, the magnitudes of Rebif's first- and second-line patient shares suggest that some physicians are treating the disease more aggressively than might be expected, as this high-dose, high-frequency agent reaches patient shares close to and surpassing Avonex in first- and second-line treatment, respectively."
According to the new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Multiple Sclerosis, neurologists note that Copaxone's better short-term and long-term side-effect/safety profile, together with its lower rate of induction of neutralizing antibodies, are critical reasons for choosing Copaxone instead of Avonex, Rebif and Betaseron. Although Copaxone is administered daily, 23-28 percent of neurologists we surveyed indicate that a key reason to prescribe the drug over any of the interferon-beta therapies is the drug's ability to foster greater patient compliance, an attribute that is closely tied to the Copaxone's lower incidence of flulike side effects.
About Treatment Algorithm Insight Series
Decision Resources combines in-depth primary research with the most extensive claims-based longitudinal patient-level data from PharMetrics(R) to provide exceptional insight into physicians' prescribing trends and the factors that drive therapy product choice, from diagnosis through multiple courses of treatment, for a specific disease.
For each disease examined, Decision Resources' Treatment Algorithm Insight Series provide the following:
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SOURCE Decision Resources