Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and health care issues, finds that office-based oncologists are pessimistic about the effect that the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) will have on the chemotherapy-induced anemia drug market. One half of office-based oncologists say cuts in their own reimbursement rates and patients' inability to afford copayments and coinsurance will reduce cancer patients' access to erythropoiesis stimulating proteins (ESPs) such as Johnson & Johnson's Procrit and Amgen's Aranesp.

The new PhysicianForum report entitled Erythropoiesis Stimulating Proteins: Evolving Usage by Oncologists finds that more than one half of surveyed HMOs also say that Medicare claimants' out-of-pocket costs will increase in the wake of MMA reforms.

"Half of HMOs also expect increased out-of-pocket costs for private patients," says Mary Fletcher-Louis, analyst at Decision Resources. "HMOs say at least one third of patients will fall within the Part D coverage 'donut hole.' This term refers to the gap in Medicare Part D coverage when no insurance for prescription drugs is available. After total drug costs reach $2,250, patients pay an additional $2,850 out-of-pocket before Medicare Part D continues coverage. Based on Decision Resources' estimates of the average cost of a typical course of ESP treatment (four-five months), we believe that the actual percentage of patients falling within the 'donut hole' is likely to be higher than HMO estimates."

Erythropoiesis Stimulating Proteins: Evolving Usage by Oncologists is based on a U.S. survey of 20 HMO pharmacy directors, 51 hospital-based oncologists, and 53 office-based oncologists. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic, and scientific factors.

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.

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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