Decision Resources, Inc., announces the publication of a new study titled Otitis Media. Otitis media, defined as inflammation or infection of the middle ear, is one of the most common childhood illnesses. A significant upswing in the number of young children attending group day care in both the United States and Europe in the 1980s and 1990s has contributed to an increased prevalence of otitis media within the pediatric population. Approximately 75-80% of children younger than three experience at least one episode of acute otitis media, and nearly one- half of the children in this age-group experience three or more episodes.

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Growing bacterial resistance in recent years has led to increased use of more expensive, broad-spectrum agents to treat otitis media, such as the combination formulation of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid (AMX-CL; SmithKline Beecham's Augmentin) and the cephalosporins. The newest macrolide, azithromycin, has become a popular choice of therapy in the United States and Europe because of its once-daily, five-day dosing schedule. Recent studies have revealed rapidly emerging resistance to this agent, however, so it is likely to see a decline in use for otitis media through our 1999-2009 forecast period. The structurally related antibiotic telithromycin (Aventis's Ketek), whose approval is pending approval in the United States and Europe for related indications, may see use in otitis media as an alternative to azithromycin if approved for a pediatric indication.

Vaccine research is an active area of development with regard to otitis media. The first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Wyeth-Lederle's Prevnar, formerly PNCRM7) was approved in the United States in March 2000 and is expected to have a significant impact on the pediatric otitis media population in coming years. Results from clinical trials involving more than 38,000 children indicate that Prevnar could reduce the number of acute otitis media episodes in children by 6-8%.

Overall, we expect sales of antibiotics for the treatment of otitis media to decrease through 2009 because of decreasing birthrates in the United States and most European countries; more conservative prescribing of antibiotics by physicians who are becoming more educated on the dangers of overprescribing; and reductions in the number of episodes of pediatric otitis media in both the United States and Europe as a result of the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.

Otitis Media is part of Infectious Disease, one of six Pharmacor services that evaluate the commercial potential of drugs in research and development.

Decision Resources, Inc., was founded as a subsidiary of Arthur D. Little, Inc., and has provided strategic information services for 30 years, assessing industry trends in the international health care and pharmaceutical industries.

Contact: Frank Sama, 781.487.3753 (telephone), 781.487.5750 (fax), or (e-mail). In Europe, contact Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (telephone), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or (e-mail). In Japan, contact Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (telephone), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or (e-mail).


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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

Contact: Frank Sama of Decision Resources, Inc., 781-487-3753

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