Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that specialists are turning to biologics earlier in the course of treatment for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. According to the new Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis: The Expanding Biologics Landscape, surveyed dermatologists last year tried an average of 5.8 therapies for moderate psoriasis before turning to biologics. By mid-2008 they will try only 2.1 other therapies before turning to biologics. Likewise for axial psoriatic arthritis, rheumatologists tried an average of 4.1 other therapies prior to biologics last year; by mid-2008 they will only try 1.7 nonbiologics.

Specialists say the role of biologics will expand through mid-2008. Seventy-two percent of dermatologists and 90% of rheumatologists say they will write more scripts for biologics for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, respectively, through mid-2008. These specialists estimate that their use of biologics will increase by 9.9 percent in psoriasis and 11.9 percent in psoriatic arthritis.

In contrast to clinicians' increasingly aggressive use of biologics, the report also finds that managed care organizations (MCOs) are restricting access to biologics.

"By mid-2008, one half of surveyed MCOs' private plans will have step therapy protocols in place and 14 out of 20 surveyed MCOs will impose prior authorization for Enbrel, the leading biologic agent, for psoriasis therapy," said Joanna Kim, analyst at Decision Resources. "Physicians estimate that biologic therapy is currently delayed in 30-45% of their patients because of step therapy protocols imposed by MCOs. And overall, specialists perceive biologics to be less accessible for the treatment of psoriasis than psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis: The Expanding Biologics Landscape is based on a U.S. survey of 50 dermatologists, 51 rheumatologists and 20 managed care pharmacy directors. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical and economic, factors in the management of psoriasis and Psoriatic arthritis with biologic therapies.

About Physician & Payer Forum

Physician & Payer Forum is a primary research service from Decision Resources that offers access to high-volume-prescribing physicians, specialists, and managed care organization representatives in the United States; analysis of events and survey participants' responses to them; insight into prescribing patterns; and an examination of the implications of events and issues for the pharmaceutical market.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources, Inc. (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.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:   Elizabeth Marshall   Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2563   emarshall@dresources.com 

SOURCE: Decision Resources

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall, Decision Resources, Inc., +1-781-296-2563,
emarshall@dresources.com

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