Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that after one year on the market, more than 25% of clinicians surveyed say that they prescribe Bristol-Myers Squibb's Baraclude as a first-line therapy for the treatment of Hepatitis B and that clinicians expect that Baraclude usage will increase in the next two to three years.

The new PhysicianForum report entitled Hepatitis B: New Antivirals Replacing the Old?, also finds that while clinician use of Baraclude will increase, Baraclude and Gilead's Hepsera are facing hurdles in achieving favorable tier status amongst surveyed private health plans, in comparison to the tier status accorded to older antiviral agents.

"Although clinicians expect the use of Baraclude to continue to expand at the expense of Epivir-HBV, surveyed formulary directors, at this time, do not view Baraclude sufficiently differentiated to gain a tier placement similar to that of Epivir-HBV," said Aaron Woolsey, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "Thus Hepsera and Baraclude are more likely to be placed on higher or specialty tiers and are likely to have higher copayments than Epivir-HBV. Unless a novel therapy can clearly distinguish itself from existing therapies by offering a major improvement in efficacy, it can expect to face similar tier-status obstacles in the HBV market."

About PhysicianForum

PhysicianForum is a primary research service from Decision Resources that offers access to high volume-prescribing physicians, specialists, and managed care organization representatives in the United States; analysis of events and survey participants' responses to them; insight into prescribing patterns; and an examination of the implications of events and issues for the pharmaceutical market.

Hepatitis B: New Antivirals Replacing the Old? is based on a U.S. survey of 21 managed care pharmacy and medical directors, 95 gastroenterologists, and 47 hepatologists. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic, and scientific factors.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources, Inc. (http://www.decisionresources.com/) is a world leader in 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   emarshall@dresources.com 

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

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

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