Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that oncologists are not yet ready to use Tykerb as a replacement for Herceptin; instead, they will use the agent as an alternative for Herceptin-refractory patients only in the treatment of advanced breast cancer. According to the new Physician&PayerForum report entitled How Are New and Emerging Oral Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors Threatening Established Anticancer Agents?, 44 percent of surveyed oncologists said they are more likely to continue with Herceptin because of their greater familiarity with the agent. More importantly, 91 percent of oncologists state that intravenous (IV) cancer therapies are more profitable than oral therapies. In fact, 58 percent of oncologists say they would favor IV Herceptin over Tykerb because administration of IV drugs remains an important source of income for their practices.
Oncologists also identify significant undercompliance with oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Surveyed oncologists estimate that less than one-third of patients take 91-100 percent of their tablets, and as many as 34 percent of patients take less than 80 percent of their tablets.
The report also finds that managed care organizations are more likely to monitor patient response to Tykerb and to request cessation of treatment for nonresponders.
"Oncologists are beginning to see managed care organizations monitor patient response to oral TKIs," said Marcus Hoyle, analyst at Decision Resources. "Payers are now requesting cessation of treatment for nonresponders, a phenomenon that may reduce treatment times. Twenty-seven percent of oncologists say payers sometimes monitor response to Tykerb, and of these respondents, 77% say the practice is increasing."
How Are New and Emerging Oral Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors Threatening Established Anticancer Agents? is based on a U.S. survey of 100 oncologists and 20 managed care pharmacy directors. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic, and scientific factors.
Physician&PayerForum is a primary research service from Decision Resources that offers access to high-volume-prescribing physicians, specialists, and managed care organization representatives in the United States; analysis of events and survey participants' responses to them; insight into prescribing patterns; and an examination of the implications of events and issues for the pharmaceutical market.
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