Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that even despite the FDA's black box warning and restriction to second-line use, clinicians widely use long-acting beta2 agonists (LABAs) as first-line treatment for mild asthma. According to the new Physician & Payer Forum report Asthma: The Impact of Reimbursement and Disease Management Programs on Asthma Treatment, 39% of primary care physicians say they most frequently use a single-inhaler LABA as first-line treatment for mild asthma, and a further 33% use GlaxoSmithKline's Advair - a LABA- containing combination - most frequently. As many as 41% of pulmonologists say they most frequently use Advair in first-line for mild asthma, and a further 14% use a single-inhaler LABA. Guidelines do not recommend use of LABAs as first-line for mild asthma.

The report also finds that 20% of eligible adult asthma patients fail to receive Genentech/Novartis's Xolair because of managed care organizations' restrictions.

"Between 29% (pulmonologists) and 27% (primary care physicians) of eligible patients fail to receive Xolair because they are unable to afford the copay or coinsurance," said Cynthia Mundy, Ph.D., director at Decision Resources. "As many as 40% of private plans list Xolair as off-formulary. Xolair costs $42.20 per day versus $4.07 for Advair and $1.28 for the cheaper inhaled corticosteroids."

Asthma: The Impact of Reimbursement and Disease Management Programs on Asthma Treatment is based on a U.S. survey of 20 MCO pharmacy directors, 51 primary care physicians (including Family Practice and Internal Medicine physicians), 51 allergists and 49 pulmonologists. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic and scientific factors.

About Physician & Payer Forum

Physician & Payer Forum 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 

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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

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

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