BURLINGTON, Mass., Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that surprisingly few surveyed neurologists in the EU5 -- France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom -- are familiar with emerging therapies for Alzheimer's disease. Among surveyed neurologists in the EU5, between 26 and 42 percent indicate they are familiar with Pfizer/Medivation's mitochondrial function modulator Dimebon and Johnson & Johnson/Pfizer's anti-beta-amyloid monoclonal antibody (MAb) bapineuzumab, while between 20 and 28 percent indicate they are familiar with Eli Lilly's anti-beta-amyloid MAb solanezumab.

The new European Physician & Payer Forum report entitled European Clinician and Payer Receptivity to Novel Agents for Alzheimer's Disease finds that approximately the same percentage of neurologists within each EU5 country expects to prescribe solanezumab and bapineuzumab if they are approved in Europe. In contrast, within each market, notably fewer neurologists expect to prescribe Dimebon, which is likely due to skepticism regarding the drug's efficacy following the well-publicized setbacks this agent has experienced in Phase III clinical trials. The findings that a similar percentage of neurologists expect to prescribe solanezumab and bapineuzumab suggest that these agents are not yet strongly differentiated in the minds of prescribers.

"The finding that similar percentages of surveyed neurologists overall expect to prescribe solanezumab and bapineuzumab is not necessarily surprising, as these agents have similar mechanisms of action," said Decision Resources Analyst Georgiana Kuhlmann, M.Sc. "However, neurologists in most countries under study estimate that solanezumab will capture slightly more patient share than bapineuzumab in mild Alzheimer's disease patients, while bapineuzumab will be prescribed to slightly more moderate Alzheimer's disease patients. This difference could reflect in part neurologists' perception that solanezumab has the better safety profile compared with bapineuzumab, although this perception remains to be borne out in ongoing Phase III trials."

The report also finds that, across all EU5 markets, neurologists prescribe acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) to patients in all stages of Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, neurologists indicate that they expect pressure from reimbursement authorities to use generic AChEIs once they become available. This expectation is particularly high in Germany, where the generics market is already the largest in Europe and where physicians have strict prescribing budgets. In addition, nearly two-thirds of neurologists in the United Kingdom and Spain expect pressure from reimbursement authorities to prescribe generic AChEIs as a way to control costs.

The report is based on a survey of 256 neurologists from France (52), Germany (54), Italy (50), Spain (50), and the United Kingdom (50) and interviews with 15 European payers from France (3), Germany (3), Italy (3), Spain (3) and the United Kingdom (3).

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