BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, over 90 percent of surveyed physicians in South Korea and Taiwan indicated that they would use SGLT-2 inhibitors when they become available, and over the next three years these emerging agents will gradually replace sulfonylureas. The SGLT-2 inhibitors offer some weight loss and a low risk of hypoglycemia as well as a novel mechanism of action and convenient dosing schedule, while the sulfonylureas cause weight gain and are associated with hypoglycemia. However, payers in both countries are not convinced that SGLT-2 inhibitors offer much clinical improvement to current agents and think they should be priced similarly to current therapies, such as DPP-IV inhibitors. Manufacturers should prepare for cumbersome pricing and reimbursement (P&R) negotiations, especially in South Korea.
Other key findings from the Emerging Markets Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Market Access Opportunities and Obstacles for Type 2 Diabetes in South Korea and Taiwan: Physician and Payer Insights:
- Impact of reimbursement restrictions: Reimbursement restrictions are currently applied to premium-priced antidiabetic therapies, primarily GLP-1 analogues, limiting their penetration in both South Korea and Taiwan.
- Prescribing controls: Budgetary caps appear to affect physician prescribing in Taiwan more than in South Korea. Surveyed physicians believed their prescribing of branded medications such as DPP-IV inhibitors is affected.
- Future outlook for insulin analogues: Payers and physicians look forward to the imminent launch of emerging insulin analogues and the biosimilar version of Lantus, Eli Lilly's Abasria. Payers believe this could alleviate the budgetary impact of long-acting insulin analogues currently available on the market.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Michael Yeung, M.Sc.:
- "It is important to understand the domestic landscape to maximize market access. For example, Taiwanese physicians display a preference for drugs that are weight neutral or can cause weight loss. In South Korea, The choice of domestic vendors also plays a significant role as they are responsible for negotiating deals with local hospitals."
- "Drugs with similar efficacies will be priced at similar levels in both South Korea and Taiwan, according to a fixed pricing formula. Hence, it is important to establish brand equity among prescribers to maximize market penetration given that long-term familiarity with an agent is often cited by physicians as the main reason for choosing one drug over the other."
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