Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that one third of surveyed psychiatrists and two thirds of primary care physicians (PCPs) expect to increase their use of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) over the next two years for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Patient-level claims data show that benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) dominate early lines of treatment. However, the frequent onset of side effects, including sexual dysfunction, often lead to patients progressing to subsequent lines of therapy. Patients often try multiple SSRIs before switching to a new drug class.
"Our physician survey results suggest physicians turn to SNRIs following the failure of SSRI therapy. Although SSRIs and SNRIs are considered to have similar efficacy, the use of SNRIs is limited by formulary restrictions," stated Amanda Puffer, M.Sc., analyst at Decision Resources. "With the availability of Wyeth's Effexor XR in generics in December 2010, surveyed psychiatrists and PCPs anticipate a decrease in their first-line use of many SSRIs and an increase in their use of SNRIs as a monotherapy."
The new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Generalized Anxiety Disorder also finds that only 41.8 percent of newly diagnosed GAD patients receive a drug within one year of their first diagnosis. Surveyed physicians indicate that this could be due to their or the patient's belief that symptoms are not severe enough to warrant a prescription and fear of side effects.
Patient-flow analysis for GAD shows that Effexor XR is used more frequently than Eli Lilly's Cymbalta following the failure of SSRIs in early lines of treatment. Patient-flow models of Cymbalta, Effexor XR and other branded agents are critical for forecasting patient-flow to generate more accurate estimates of the potential pool of customers for a given brand in this highly genericized market.
About Treatment Algorithm Insight Series
Decision Resources combines in-depth primary research with the most extensive claims-based longitudinal patient-level data from IMS Lifelink: Health Plans Claims database 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.
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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