Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that 82 percent of surveyed physicians that had prescribed Ortho-McNeil's novel dual-acting opioid Nucynta (tapentadol) indicate that it has comparable efficacy to immediate-release oxycodone, although only 36 percent of surveyed physicians indicate that it was more tolerable with regard to nausea and vomiting, side effects common to potent opioid analgesics such as immediate-release oxycodone.
The new Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Biologics and Formulations for Inflammatory and Nociceptive Pain: Will These Agents Gain Widespread Physician and Payer Acceptance Despite a Crowded Market? also finds that, to date, Nucynta's reception by surveyed clinicians has been more enthusiastic than it has been for King Pharmaceuticals abuse-deterrent opioid reformulation Embeda (morphine controlled-release and sequestered naltrexone). Nucynta and Embeda, two key emerging analgesic products, both launched in the United States last year.
However, Nucynta and Embeda are still excluded from many commercial and Medicare drug plans, according to the report. Twenty percent of managed care organizations (MCOs) indicate that Nucynta and Embeda are excluded from their formularies in commercial plans, and 30 percent of surveyed MCOs indicate that their Medicare prescription drug plans exclude these recently-launched products from their formularies.
The report also finds that although Pfizer's tanezumab (a monoclonal antibody against human nerve growth factor) represents a revolutionary approach to the treatment of certain severe chronic pain conditions, clinicians' opinions on the safety/tolerability and delivery of this potential blockbuster drug are mixed.
"Our survey results indicate that chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis pain patients would be the populations most likely to be treated with tanezumab," said Decision Resources Analyst Natalie Taylor, Ph.D. "However, 46 percent of surveyed pain specialists, 23 percent of surveyed rheumatologists and 70 percent of surveyed PCPs said that they do not expect to prescribe this biologic if it launches. The majority of physicians indicating they would prescribe tanezumab will most commonly use it as a third-line therapy and above, after treatment attempts with oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, dual-acting opiods and opioids."
Biologics and Formulations for Inflammatory and Nociceptive Pain: Will These Agents Gain Widespread Physician and Payer Acceptance Despite a Crowded Market? is based on a U.S. survey of 50 pain specialists, 52 rheumatologists, 50 PCPs and 20 MCO pharmacy directors. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic and scientific factors.
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