BURLINGTON, Mass., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that surveyed physician specialists will welcome the proliferation of asthma therapies that are poised for U.S. launch by 2018, and they anticipate utilizing more convenient once-daily therapies and novel biological agents to manage their asthmatic patients. Surveyed payers and specialists—including pulmonologists and allergists—indicate particular enthusiasm for novel biologics that target more severe asthma patients. Surveyed specialists identified up to a quarter of their severe asthma patients as being refractory to existing medications and more than 80 percent of physicians and managed care organization pharmacy directors highlighted at least a modest unmet need for novel therapies for treating this population.

Clinicians anticipate that in-development novel interleukin-5 (IL-5) monoclonal antibodies—including Teva's Cinquil, GlaxoSmithKline's Bosatria and AstraZeneca/BioWa's benralizumab—will go some way to meeting this unmet need. Clinical trials have shown all of these novel IL-5 antagonists offer improvements in lung function or exacerbation rates.  However, driven by positive Phase III results in reducing frequency of exacerbations, physicians and payers view Bosatria as the agent that will best address unmet needs in this population. Frequency of exacerbations is high among patients with severe, refractory asthma and efficacy on reducing exacerbations will positively impact prescribing and reimbursement.

Other key findings from the U.S. Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Convenient Once-daily Fixed-dose Combination Inhaler and Late-Stage Emerging Biologics in Asthma: How Will U.S. Payers and Prescribers Manage Different Segments of the Asthma Market?:

  • Many surveyed payers view biologics as cost-effective in reducing hospitalization and exacerbations. However, many are concerned about the cost of eosinophil testing to identify candidates and responders to IL-5 antagonist therapy.
  • The report findings suggest that increases in IL-5 antagonists' anticipated price point will drive increased formulary exclusion and NDC blocking of these agents among surveyed managed care organization pharmacy directors'/medical directors' plans.
  • Nearly all surveyed payers indicate that new therapies will commonly face cost controls such as prior authorization and step therapy.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Matthew Scutcher, Ph.D.:

  • "Pricing strategies will be key to formulary inclusion, particularly for new biological agents. Additionally, because of the difference in cost between biological agents and the small-molecule agents currently prescribed in early lines of therapy for asthma, developers of emerging biological agents should consider copay reduction strategies for their therapies, particularly if payers make these agents non-preferred."
  • "Many surveyed payers suggest that the anticipated availability in 2016 of a branded generic formulation of Advair (GlaxoSmithKline) would prompt their plans to move other LABA/ICS combinations to a nonpreferred tier. Thus, Breo (GlaxoSmithKline) faces stiff competition within an increasingly fragmented asthma market."

Upcoming webinar:

  • Media members are welcome to attend our upcoming webinar based on this report entitled Emerging Asthma Therapies: How to Gain Formulary Inclusion and Increase Physician Prescribing. This presentation will be held on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. For more information, please contact Christopher Comfort at ccomfort@dresourcesgroup.com.

About Decision Resources Group
Decision Resources Group offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on critical issues within the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Find out more at www.DecisionResourcesGroup.com.

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For more information, contact:

Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort

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SOURCE Decision Resources Group

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