BURLINGTON, Mass., April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that surveyed U.S. and European pulmonologists agree that a therapy offering a greater reduction in exacerbations is among the areas of greatest opportunity for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatments. The majority of surveyed U.S. payers also indicated that improved ability on this end point would be worthy of a premium price relative to Boehringer Ingelheim/Pfizer's Spiriva. Although clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders indicate that, to date, no emerging bronchodilators have demonstrated the potential to fulfill this unmet need, pulmonologists will also look for improvements in lung function and quality of life, which many of the novel COPD therapies will offer.
Other key findings from the DecisionBase 2014 report entitled Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Amid the Emergence of a Novel Class of Dual Bronchodilators, What Are the Key Areas of Opportunity for Differentiation According to Pulmonologists and Payers?:
- Clinical data and the opinions of interviewed thought leaders indicate that the emerging LABA/LAMA fixed-dose combination class is highly anticipated, with Novartis's Ultibro poised to stand out from current therapies on measures of both lung function and quality of life.
- Surveyed pulmonologists indicate that a lower incidence of respiratory infections is a key area of unmet need among safety and tolerability attributes. Along with significant cardiovascular side effects, respiratory infections also weigh heavily in treatment decisions for both U.S. and European pulmonologists. Thus, a novel treatment that has a lower incidence of respiratory infections could secure physician preference upon entering the COPD market.
- A greater ease of administration is the delivery attribute with the greatest opportunity for differentiation within this increasingly competitive market. Pulmonologists ascribe a moderate level of unmet need for therapies with a greater ease of administration, and half of U.S. MCO pharmacy directors would be willing to include a once-daily LABA/LAMA priced at a premium to Spiriva on their formulary, based solely on its more convenient delivery.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Colleen E. Albacker, Ph.D.:
- "Our analysis of physician survey results reveals that price per day is the strongest factor when physicians are considering novel treatments. This finding is critical to new agents in this market that offer only incremental improvements in efficacy, safety, and delivery—a fixed-dose combination of two more-expensive therapies will have to keep its price in check to secure optimum uptake."
- "Based on thought-leader opinion and clinical data, our drug comparator model demonstrates that all of the emerging therapies for COPD have efficacy, safety, or delivery advantages over current sales leaders. This will lead to a very competitive and crowded market over the next few years, and developers of novel agents will need to take steps to emphasize advantages their agents possess over existing therapies to capture significant market share."
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