Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that only 44.4 percent of Parkinson's disease patients receive drug treatment within one year of their initial diagnosis. Most surveyed neurologists attribute this low percentage of therapy initiation on presentation of mild symptoms of the disease. However, surveyed primary care physicians cite misdiagnosis or uncertainty surrounding diagnosis of Parkinson's or lack of physician experience as reasons to not prescribe drug therapy for the disease. Given these barriers to primary care physician-initiated drug treatment, lack of referral to specialists is a key driver of the low drug treatment rate in this disease.
The new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Parkinson's Disease also finds that a small percent of first-line patients (20.9 percent) receive dopamine agonists despite these agents' ability to stave off levodopa treatment (whose long-term use is associated with motor response complications). Fewer surveyed primary care physicians prescribe dopamine agonists, which include Boehringer Ingelheim's Mirapex, GlaxoSmithKline's Requip, generics (ropinirole) and UCB/Schwarz Pharma's Neupro (rotigotine), as a first-line therapy compared with surveyed neurologists.
Overall, a higher percentage of Parkinson's disease patients are left untreated in the care of primary care physicians compared with those left untreated by neurologists. Decision Resources believes that these differences may arise, in part, because of a lower awareness among primary care physicians regarding the benefits of initiating dopamine agonists as a first-line drug to patients-especially younger patients-in early stages of the disease.
"Similar to the attitudes of interviewed thought leaders, neurologists we surveyed consider a patient's disease severity and age when deciding between dopamine agonist and levodopa treatment," said Madhuri Borde, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "However, while surveyed primary care physicians also take into account disease severity, a much smaller percentage of clinicians within this physician group are influenced by a person's age at the time of treatment compared with surveyed neurologists."
About Treatment Algorithm Insight Series
Decision Resources combines in-depth primary research with the most extensive claims-based longitudinal patient-level data from PharMetrics® to provide exceptional insight into physicians' prescribing trends and the factors that drive therapy product choice, from diagnosis through multiple courses of treatment, for a specific disease.
For each disease examined, Decision Resources' Treatment Algorithm Insight Series provides the following:
-- Summary of United States medical practice based on interviews with leading experts in the field
-- Qualitative diagnosis/referral/treatment algorithm for the United States
-- Drug usage by lines of therapy (1st, 2nd, 3rd line) -- Discussion of key freeform combinations by lines of therapy
-- Product share (class and specific compound level) within each line of therapy (1st, 2nd, 3rd line)
-- Progression of therapy from key 1st line products -- Pathway to key therapies from previous therapies
-- Qualitative analysis of two-year forecast incorporating upcoming launches, changes in reimbursement, etc
About Decision Resources
Decision Resources (www.decisionresources.com) is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources and master their chosen markets. Decision Resources is a Decision Resources, Inc. company.
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SOURCE: Decision Resources
CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall, Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2563,
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