Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Advair continues to be prescribed by a large percentage of primary care physicians as a first-line maintenance therapy for both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Surveyed physicians indicated that efficacy and familiarity are the major reasons physicians choose Advair. Pulmonologists cite Advair's better ability to decrease exacerbations compared with Boehringer Ingelheim/Pfizer's Spiriva and faster symptom relief in the treatment of asthma compared with Merck/Kyorin's Singulair.

According to two new reports entitled Treatment Algorithms in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Treatment Algorithms in Asthma, patient share for Advair has exceeded what would be expected given the guidelines. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guidelines for asthma recommend inhaled corticosteroids as a first-choice maintenance therapy and long-acting beta2 agonists (LABAs) only in conjunction with inhaled corticosteroids. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines for COPD advise that inhaled corticosteroids should be given only to patients with severe or very severe disease, particularly patients who experience frequent exacerbations.

"For asthma, individual LABAs such as GlaxoSmithKline's Serevent and Schering-Plough/Novartis's Foradil do not achieve so much as a 1.8% patient share until the third line, yet GlaxoSmithKline's Advair, a LABA/ICS combination, captures 13.9%, 19.3%, and 16.5% patient shares in the first, second, and third lines, respectively," said Michael J. Malecki, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "Advair's performance indicates that physicians may be turning to combination therapy earlier in treatment than guidelines recommend."

These reports also find that AstraZeneca's Symbicort is gaining favor among physicians for the treatment of asthma and COPD. This inhaler combines a LABA and a corticosteroid to provide maintenance therapy without the need for two inhalers. Reducing the number of inhalers improves patient compliance, an attribute physicians consider important to the therapeutic success of such inhalers. GlaxoSmithKline's Advair was the only LABA/corticosteroid inhaler available in the United States until mid 2007, when AstraZeneca's Symbicort entered the market.

About the Treatment Algorithm Insight Series

Decision Resources combines in-depth primary research with the most extensive claims-based longitudinal patient-level data from PharMetrics® 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 provides the following:

  -- Summary of U.S. medical practice based on interviews with leading      experts in the field.   -- Qualitative diagnosis/referral/treatment algorithm for the United      States.   -- Drug usage by lines of therapy (1st, 2nd, 3rd line).   -- Discussion of key freeform combinations by lines of therapy.   -- Product share (class and specific compound level) within each line of      therapy (1st, 2nd, 3rd line).   -- Progression of therapy from key 1st line products.   -- Pathway to key therapies from previous therapies.   -- Qualitative analysis of two-year forecast incorporating upcoming      launches, changes in reimbursement, etc.    About Decision Resources 

Decision Resources, Inc., ( is a world leader in healthcare market research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:   Elizabeth Marshall   Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2563 

SOURCE: Decision Resources

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc., +1-781-296-2563

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