While Copaxone and Interferon-Betas Continue to Dominate Treatment in MS, Tysabri Shows Modest Increase in First-Line Use

Quarterly Treatment Algorithm Analysis for Multiple Sclerosis Now Available from Decision Resources

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), Teva’s Copaxone and the interferon-beta drugs continue to dominate first- and second-line therapy among newly diagnosed patients. Meanwhile, examination of U.S. patient-level claims data finds that use of Biogen Idec/Elan’s Tysabri as a first-line therapy increased modestly among newly diagnosed MS patients treated within a year of diagnosis.

According to Treatment Algorithms in Multiple Sclerosis, use of Tysabri in the first line remains limited, with more-significant use seen in the second line. These findings are consistent with the drug’s label, which generally recommends the drug be prescribed for the treatment of relapsing MS patients who fail prior treatment owing to insufficient efficacy or intolerance due to a small, but potentially fatal, risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). However, Tysabri’s share of first-line patient share grew steadily over the past several quarters in our sample to 5 percent, a trend that may reflect growing comfort with the drug as the risk of PML becomes increasingly well-characterized.

“Since the risk of PML is now known to be greater in patients with identifiable risk factors, physicians may be more empowered to prescribe Tysabri in well-selected patients as a first-line therapy,” said Decision Resources Senior Analyst Jonathan Searles, “Patients in our sample who received Tysabri first-line could include those who show evidence of a more-aggressive early disease course and accept some additional risk with this highly effective, well-tolerated therapy.”

The analysis also finds that the initial uptake of Novartis/Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma’s Gilenya has been gradual since it launched in the United Sates in October 2010, and mostly as a second- or later-line therapy.

The analysis is part of Decision Resources’ Treatment Algorithms series. Through examination of patient-level claims data, the Treatment Algorithms series provides exceptional insight into physicians’ prescribing trends and the factors that drive therapy choice, from diagnosis through multiple courses of treatment, for a specific disease. The Treatment Algorithms series is updated quarterly and allows for longitudinal analysis of prescribing trends.

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Decision Resources
Lisa Osgood, 781-993-2606
[email protected]
Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort, 781-993-2597
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Massachusetts

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Biotechnology  Pharmaceutical  Research  Science  General Health