Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that an overall survival benefit would be the most influential factor for three-quarters of surveyed European oncologists in their decision to prescribe a novel agent ahead of Avastin for the treatment of breast cancer.
The new Special European Physician & Payer Forum report entitled European Trends in Targeted Therapies in Breast Cancer: A Clinician and Payer Perspective on the Current and Future Uptake finds that, despite not having a HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) status label restriction in Europe, most surveyed oncologists reserve Avastin for HER2-negative patients, particularly for patients with triple negative breast cancer. Avastin is at risk of losing significant patient share to Sanofi-Aventis' novel agent BSI-201, which is expected to be approved for triple negative breast cancer on the basis of an improvement in overall survival.
According to the report, in the surveyed European countries where Avastin is reimbursed, Avastin is used in between 16 percent (in Italy) and 38 percent (in France) of first-line metastatic breast cancer patients and between 8 percent (in Italy) and 27 percent (in France) of second-line metastatic breast cancer patients. Through 2010, Avastin's patient share will increase to between 25 percent (in Italy and Spain) and 35 percent (in France) in the first-line treatment setting and between 17 percent (in Italy) and 36 percent (in France) in the second-line. This equates to a potential 30 percent increase in Avastin sales over the next 12 months.
The report also finds that reimbursement of targeted therapies for breast cancer varies significantly between the European countries surveyed.
"Among the four major European markets that reimburse Avastin--Germany, France, Italy and Spain--Italy has the greatest percentage of eligible patients who do not receive Avastin treatment for breast cancer due to cost," said Decision Resources Analyst Niamh Murphy, Ph.D. "Additionally, in the United Kingdom, Avastin is not reimbursed through the National Health Service."
European Trends in Targeted Therapies in Breast Cancer: A Clinician and Payer Perspective on the Current and Future Uptake is based on surveys with 224 oncologists and interviews with 20 hospital-based payers in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic and scientific factors.
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