BURLINGTON, Mass., June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that surveyed pulmonologists in the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) estimate that the majority of their COPD patients currently receiving either a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) or a long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA) are concomitantly receiving the other long-acting bronchodilator. These patients represent a potential pool for emerging LABA/LAMA fixed-dose combinations. However, although payers agree that these combinations are likely to be reimbursed nationally, they caution that the strength of the data will determine pricing and their place in the treatment algorithm.

Other key findings from the European Physician & Payer Forum report entitled COPD in the EU5: How Will Prescribers and Payers Integrate Additional LABA- and LAMA-Containing Products Within Increasingly Constrained Budgets?:

  • Impact of emerging generics: Most payers and pulmonologists across the EU5 are open to prescribing generic versions of Seretide, Symbicort and Spiriva when they launch. However, pulmonologists are hesitant to prescribe a drug if the device is not easy to use, and payers also demonstrate concern about patient compliance with cheaper, harder to use inhalers.
  • Optimal market access lever: Clinical trials demonstrating superiority over the standard of care comprises the strongest market access lever in pricing and reimbursement negotiations. Even without such data, novel COPD therapies can still expect to be reimbursed—payers recognize the importance of having increased treatment options for this chronic disease—but without a premium price.
  • Projections for Relvar: Surveyed pulmonologists anticipate that Relvar, the first once-daily LABA/inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) fixed-dose combination, will experience healthy uptake in this crowded drug class, prescribing the drug to a variety of patient groups. However, payers indicate that they do not plan to distinguish Relvar from the twice-daily LABA/ICS combinations, which might limit uptake.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Colleen E. Albacker, Ph.D.:

  • "Payers in the EU5 consider a bigger picture beyond drug prices, so if a new drug can present with pharmacoeconomic data or prove that having a fixed-dose combination leads to better patient outcomes than the drugs in separate inhalers, such data will be persuasive to the European healthcare authorities. However–first and foremost—payers want to see superior efficacy in a head-to-head trial."
  • "Pulmonologists prescribe their preferred LAMA or LABA/ICS combination based on efficacy and familiarity with the drug. This finding suggests that newer entrants to the COPD market will have to work hard from a marketing perspective to increase physician familiarity with their drug to drive uptake."

Upcoming webinar:

  • Decision Resources Group will present a webinar based on this report entitled What Market Access Challenges Will Emerging Bronchodilators for COPD Face in the EU5, According to Pulmonologists and Payers? 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

SOURCE Decision Resources Group

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