BURLINGTON, Mass., June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that surveyed U.S. psychiatrists are receptive to novel adjunctive therapies to antidepressants for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and would prescribe Otsuka/Lundbeck's emerging atypical antipsychotic brexpiprazole to a mean 12 percent of their drug-treated TRD patients in 2015. This value is slightly lower than the 16 percent patient share surveyed psychiatrists currently estimate for Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka's Abilify. Additionally, nearly one-third of surveyed psychiatrists willing to prescribe brexpiprazole would be most compelled to switch their TRD patients from adjunctive treatment with Abilify if brexpiprazole offered a lower risk of restlessness and/or akathisia (restless movements, inner restlessness and distress) compared to Abilify.

Other key findings from the Physician and Payer Forum report entitled U.S. Prescriber and Payer Receptivity to Emerging Agents for Treatment-Resistant Depression Amid a Crowded and Increasingly Genericized Market include:

  • Physician approaches to TRD treatment: Surveyed primary care physicians (PCPs) and psychiatrists indicate that similar percentages of their patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have TRD (approximately one-third), and they take comparable treatment steps to manage their TRD patients. Responses from surveyed physicians indicate that increasing the therapeutic dose followed by switching among the selective serotonin and/or norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are the most common early-line approaches in treatment of TRD patients; antipsychotic drugs are most likely to be added as the third line of therapy or later.
  • Hurdles for recently launched antidepressants: The survey data generally finds that physicians encounter minimal reimbursement hurdles when prescribing branded antidepressants. However, responses from surveyed managed care organization directors suggest that newer-to-market agents Forest Laboratories/Pierre Fabre's Fetzima, Takeda/Lundbeck's Brintellix and Dainippon Sumitomo/Sunovion's Latuda are in danger of remaining excluded from Medicare prescription drug formularies in one year's time, likely due to the widespread availability of inexpensive generics and greater cost containment pressures on these plans compared with commercial plans.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Principal Business Insights Analyst Natalie Taylor, Ph.D.:

  • "A larger percentage of surveyed PCPs responded they have prescribed Brintellix versus the percentage that reported prescribing Fetzima, and almost all surveyed PCPs who are familiar with Brintellix but have not yet prescribed the drug expect to prescribe it in the next 12 months. We note that a high percentage of surveyed PCPs and psychiatrists who have prescribed Brintellix perceive it to effectively decrease depressive symptoms in TRD patients and find it to have a high response rate."
  • "Our survey results suggest that outpatient visits and hospitalizations contribute substantially to total spending for depression compared with drug spend, presumably because most current antidepressant drugs are available as inexpensive generics. Because TRD often requires multiple outpatient visits and carries a greater risk of hospitalization than MDD, payers may offer favorable reimbursement status to effective therapies for this patient population to preemptively reduce overall spend."

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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Christopher Comfort
Decision Resources Group

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SOURCE Decision Resources Group

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