BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that despite the increasing percentage of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients treated with agents with a newer mechanism of action (MOA), three-quarters of DMARD-failure RA patients who are naive to biologics/Pfizer's Xeljanz are still initiated on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha inhibitors as opposed to alternate MOA agents. Out-of-pocket expense, length of time on the market and expected response are the top three factors surveyed rheumatologists consider when choosing which anti-TNF agents to prescribe to their biologic/Xeljanz-naive RA patients.

Other key findings from the report entitled TreatmentTrends®: Rheumatoid Arthritis 2014 (US):

  • Obstacles to increased prescribing: Surveyed rheumatologists consider managed care/prior authorization issues to be among the top obstacles that hinder increased prescribing of RA treatments across all biologics/Xeljanz.
  • Promotional activity: Humira (AbbVie) representatives are consistently top performers across the following areas compared with sales representatives of other RA biologics or Xeljanz: their knowledge of RA, their knowledge of the product, their ability to address questions and their ability to bring value to practice.
  • Forthcoming biosimilars: The majority of surveyed rheumatologists is aware of biosimilars being developed for RA and plan to prescribe them if they become available.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Senior Data Analyst Elvina Wardjiman:

  • "Attributes pertaining to efficacy appear to be more important to surveyed rheumatologists than they stated and are key influencers on physicians' prescribing decisions. Data show that the two most commonly prescribed biologics for RA, Enbrel (Amgen) and Humira, are perceived to be the top contenders when it comes to efficacy compared with other RA treatments."
  • "As surveyed rheumatologists await the arrival of biosimilars for RA, more than half perceive a difference in a biosimilar coming from a major R&D-based pharmaceutical company compared with a generics company. This perception stems from the trust physicians have in large pharmaceutical companies, noting their expertise and quality of work."

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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For more information, contact:

Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort

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SOURCE Decision Resources Group

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