BURLINGTON, Mass., Sept. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that the percentage of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients treated with a biologic agent by rheumatologists has remained relatively constant since 2012 in the major European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom). Within all levels of disease severity, there appears to be fairly limited opportunity overall for increased use of biologics based on the gap between the percentage of patients that are treated and the percentage of patients considered appropriate for treatment. However, several relatively newer agents (UCB's Cimzia, Roche's RoActemra and Janssen's Simponi) and an agent with a new subcutaneous formulation (Bristol-Myers Squibb's Orencia) have experienced an increase in their reported patient share at the expense of the more established TNF-alpha inhibitors (Pfizer's Enbrel, AbbVie's Humira, Janssen's Remicade).
Other key findings from the TreatmentTrends® report entitled Rheumatoid Arthritis 2014 (EU):
- Rheumatologists' satisfaction with available agents: Currently, over 60 percent of surveyed rheumatologists are satisfied with available agents for the treatment of RA.
- Key driver of prescribing: Improving the signs and symptoms of the disease, among other factors, is a key driver in choosing a treatment option among surveyed specialists.
- Impact of national guidelines on treatment decisions: The majority of surveyed rheumatologists indicate that they are influenced by national guidelines in choosing a particular biologic brand.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Director Bingnan Kang, Ph.D.:
- "While biologic prescribing has not necessarily been on the rise in Europe, primarily due to issues around patient access, the majority of rheumatologists are interested in learning more about agents in development for RA. Oral formulation and long-term safety are the two attributes rheumatologists most desire in novel RA agents."
- "European rheumatologists are aware that biosimilar TNF-alpha inhibitors are on the near-term horizon. However, they are split nearly evenly into two factions—those that believe their prescribing of biologics will increase with the availability of presumably less expensive biosimilars, and those that do not."
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