BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that the majority of surveyed oncologists in Argentina and Mexico are primarily prescribing biomarker-driven agents for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer and EGFR-mutation positive metastatic, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, despite a high rate of molecular testing, the majority of public KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) and BRAF-positive malignant melanoma (MM) patients in both countries are primarily being treated with non-biomarker-associated agents (such as other targeted therapies or chemotherapy only) in the first line of therapy. Several constraints on drug coverage and access to molecular testing are limiting the uptake of biomarker-associated agents and more standardized patient access to these treatments across the four cancers studied (breast cancer, NSCLC, CRC, and MM) is required.
Other key findings from the Emerging Markets Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Biomarker-driven Prescribing in Oncology: Stakeholder Dynamics in Mexico and Argentina for Breast Cancer, NSCLC, CRC and Malignant Melanoma include:
- Significant variations in drug coverage exist in Mexico: Despite wider coverage for biomarker-driven agents in the national formularies in Mexico, Social Security-affiliated institutions and the government-sponsored Seguro Popular are severely restricting public patient access to these drugs. For example, the IMSS covers Herceptin (Roche/Genentech) for breast cancer and Erbitux (Merck) for CRC, and Seguro Popular covers Herceptin and Tykerb (GlaxoSmithKline) for breast cancer.
- Limitations to molecular testing: According to surveyed oncologists, molecular testing rates for breast cancer, NSCLC, CRC, and MM patients are limited by restricted access to the respective biomarker-driven therapies, and limited access to testing facilities, among other reasons.
- Payer receptivity to novel biomarker-driven therapies: Although payers from both countries recognize strong economic value in treatments with molecular diagnosis, they show low receptivity to high price premiums for upcoming biomarker-driven therapies, especially if they are under development in combination with other targeted agents, therefore increasing the overall treatment costs.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Director Andreia Ribeiro, Ph.D.:
- "Surveyed Mexican oncologists report higher drug treatment rates across breast cancer, NSCLC, CRC, and MM compared with surveyed Argentinian oncologists. However, biomarker-driven therapies in Argentina experience wider reimbursement through the government-sponsored SUR (Sistema Unico de Reintegros) for both Social Security-affiliated institutions and private HMOs versus the limited institutional coverage in Mexico. This results, in general, in increased patient access to these treatments in Argentina."
- "Improvements in access to testing facilities and in the turnaround of definitive results could be a lever to market access. Significant delays in obtaining molecular testing results in CRC and NSCLC, for example, can put off physicians from prescribing EGFR inhibitors until later line settings, leading to earlier use of alternative non-biomarker driven therapies such as Avastin, rather than postponing treatment."
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SOURCE Decision Resources Group