BURLINGTON, Mass., Dec. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in China, patient access to premium-priced agents is impeded as not all patients can afford these drugs. The National Reimbursement Drug List was last updated in 2009, and several antidiabetic drug classes (e.g. DPP-IV inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonist) are not covered as they were only approved for use in China after 2009. The DPP-IV inhibitor Januvia (Merck) and the GLP-1 receptor agonist Byetta (AstraZeneca) are the only drugs in their respective drug classes to be included in the Provincial Reimbursement Drug Lists (which was last updated in 2010), but coverage for these agents is very limited. Up to 43 percent of surveyed physicians indicate the lack of reimbursement for these drug classes is a major factor that limits their prescription. The high cost of GLP-1 receptor agonists would account for more than 50 percent of the average disposable income of urban residents, should they pay for these therapies out-of-pocket.
Other key findings from the Emerging Markets Physician & Payer Forum report entitled The Market Access Environment for Type 2 Diabetes in China: Physician and Payer Insights on Current and Emerging Noninsulin Antidiabetic Agents:
- Low drug-treatment rate: Only 73 percent of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are treated with prescription drugs, according to surveyed physicians. This percentage is low compared to other Asian markets such as South Korea and Taiwan.
- Medicine Rate and prescribing control: The Medicine Rate is a policy designed to control the prescribing of reimbursed high-cost therapies in public hospitals. Physicians' prescription records are also reviewed regularly by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. Payers believe these have a negative impact on the prescription of expensive agents.
- Upcoming generic erosion: There are at least 15 generic applications for DPP-IV inhibitors or GLP-1 analogues that are currently pending approval by the China Food and Drug Administration. Up to 72 percent of surveyed physicians express interest in prescribing these generics when they become available in the Chinese market.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Michael Yeung, M.Sc.:
- "Many drugs that are marketed in the West, such as SGLT-2 inhibitors and long-acting release GLP-1 analogues, are yet to launch in China. Therefore, this untapped section of the market presents a large opportunity for multinational pharmaceutical companies. However, competition among branded noninsulin antidiabetic agents will intensify in the next few years when these new agents become available."
- "Surveyed physicians indicated a strong preference for metformin as first-line treatment and sulfonylureas and alpha glucosidase inhibitors as second-line treatments. The use of premium-priced treatments—such as DPP-IV inhibitors, SGLT-2 inhibitors, and GLP-1 analogues—are expected to increase considerably in the third or later lines of therapy by the end of 2017."
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