Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that although biologic agents used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are approved for first-line use, they are actually used by less than 3% of patients on first-line treatment and less than 4% on second-line treatment. According to the new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Rheumatoid Arthritis, this limited penetration is due primarily to payer restrictions on reimbursement; patients must often fail therapy on methotrexate before the high cost of biologics will be reimbursed by health care plans. Therefore, substantial revenue opportunity for conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) remains in early lines of therapy.

Until January 1, 2006, when the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) went into effect, Centocor/Schering-Plough/Tanabe Seiyaku's Remicade held a reimbursement advantage over other TNF-alpha inhibitors because, under previous Medicare regulations, self-administered injectable drugs were not reimbursable.

"Despite Remicade's advantage to Medicare subscribers, Amgen/Wyeth's Enbrel still managed to capture an equal percentage of first- and second-line patient shares, and has greater use than Remicade in third-line patient share," said Dr. Madhuri Borde, analyst at Decision Resources.

Treatment Algorithms for Rheumatoid Arthritis allows pharmaceutical organizations to quantify lines of therapy through primary research and patient-level data. Users can:

* Understand current treatment patterns and anticipate future market dynamics.

* Drive product growth through accurate knowledge of a product's positioning among the lines of therapy and why physicians use it at that point.

* Target specific competitors that are preceding or following a product and benefit from actionable analysis of the path to treatment and physicians' decision parameters.

* Develop more sophisticated market-forecasting patient-flow models based on unique, accurate information regarding the percentage of patients receiving a product at specific stages in the line of therapy.

About Treatment Algorithms Insight Series

Decision Resources combines in-depth primary research with the most extensive claims-based longitudinal patient-level data from PharMetrics® 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.

For each disease examined, Decision Resources' Treatment Algorithms Insight Series provides:

* Summary of U.S. medical practice based on interviews with leading experts in the field.

* Qualitative diagnosis/referral/treatment algorithm for the United States.

  * Drug usage by lines of therapy (1st, 2nd, 3rd line).   * Discussion of key freeform combinations by lines of therapy. 

* Product share (class and specific compound level) within each line of therapy (1st, 2nd, 3rd line).

  * Progression of therapy from key 1st line products.   * Pathway to key therapies from previous therapies. 

* Qualitative analysis of 2-year forecast incorporating upcoming launches, changes in reimbursement, etc.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources, Inc., (www.DecisionResources.com) is a world leader in healthcare market research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets.

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, Inc.   781-296-2563   emarshall@dresources.com 

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SOURCE: Decision Resources

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

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