Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and health care issues, finds that primary care physicians (PCPs) and cardiologists look forward to the benefits of using Merck/Schering-Plough's combination therapy, Zetia/Zocor, for the treatment of dyslipidemia. However, many HMOs are unlikely to add it to their formularies. According to a new PhysicianForum report entitled Zetia and Crestor: Dyslipidemia Market Disruptions or Distractions, over half of the pharmacy directors surveyed are either "somewhat" or "very" unlikely to add the Zocor/Zetia combination to their organizations' formulary.

"Although the physicians that we interviewed would consider prescribing a fixed-dose of the Zocor-Zetia combination therapy for new and existing dyslipidemia patients across the severity spectrum, the combo-therapy faces an uphill battle with HMOs," said Matt Bonner, M.D., M.B.A., research fellow, and chief analyst at Decision Resources.

The primary research report also found that uptake of AstraZeneca's Crestor, if approved (it is currently in Phase III trials) could be compromised by HMOs that are unwilling to include it in their formularies unless the price is right.

"Physicians, particularly cardiologists, are enthusiastic about the prospect of using Crestor in newly diagnosed patients, particularly in high- risk subsets," continued Dr. Bonner. "However, a large majority of pharmacy directors will not add Crestor to their formulary if the product were priced more than 5-10% above their current preferred statin. This will force AstraZeneca to take a hard look at Crestor's pricing before its launch."

Zetia and Crestor: Dyslipidemia Market Disruptions or Distractions is based on a survey of 16 HMO pharmacy directors, 77 PCPs, and 25 cardiologists. Participants in all groups were located throughout the United States. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences in clinical, economic, and scientific factors.

About PhysicianForum

PhysicianForum is a new primary research service from Decision Resources. The service offers access to high-volume prescribing PCPs, specialists, and managed care organization representatives in the United States; analysis of events and survey participants' responses to them; insight into prescribing patterns; and implications for the pharmaceutical market.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources is a world leader in research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets. The company has provided strategic information services for 30 years, assessing international pharmaceutical and health care industry trends. Visit Decision Resources at www.decisionresources.com.

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    781-296-2563    emarshall@dresources.com 

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

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

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