BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that biomarker driven prescribing is likely to positively influence perceptions of emerging drugs for both oncologists and payers. Results of a survey of 100 medical oncologists and 30 medical directors and pharmacy directors of managed care organizations reveals that the majority of oncologists and payers look favorably on companion-biomarker testing. Biomarker testing allows physicians to select the patents most likely to benefit from these therapies, whilst avoiding the cost of therapy and toxicity in patients unlikely to derive benefit from treatment.
Other key findings from the U.S. Physician and Payer Forum report entitled Biomarker-Driven Prescribing in Oncology: Physician and Payer Insights on Evolving Trends in Key Indications:
- Opportunity for emerging agents: Uptake of PD-1 inhibitors such as Bristol-Myers Squibb/Ono's Opdivo and Merck & Co.'s Keytruda will be influenced by the availability of companion biomarker testing. Furthermore other biomarker-driven emerging agents, such as Novartis' Zykadia and AstraZeneca's AZD-9291, are likely to receive high uptake by physicians.
- Challenges to biomarker testing: Obtaining tumor biopsies of adequate quality and size can limit biomarker testing. Delays in obtaining tests results can have an effect on uptake of biomarker-driven therapies. Furthermore, reimbursement of biomarker testing and the associated administration can be an issue for some physicians.
- Perception of current biomarker-driven therapies: Various therapies compete with each other in the same patient population, such as Genentech/Roche/Astella's Tarceva and Boehringer Ingelheim's Gilotrif for EGFR-mutant NSCLC, and Roche's Kadcyla and GlaxoSmithKline's Tykerb for HER2-positive breast cancer.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Dan Roberts, Ph.D.:
- "The majority of surveyed oncologists look positively on biomarker-driven therapies; however uptake could be increased even further by increasing biomarker testing rates through the development of improved testing methodologies, and streamlining the reimbursement process of biomarker tests."
- "Payers also look favorably on biomarker-driven prescribing, and this can positively affect tier placement on formularies. Biomarker testing is expected by payers to be included in clinical pathways programs, which themselves are set to increase over the next 12 months."
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