Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Pfizer's Lyrica has advantages over Eli Lilly's sales-leading agent, Cymbalta, in the treatment of fibromyalgia in terms of sustained effectiveness at six months. According to the new report entitled Fibromyalgia: Upcoming FDA-Approved Antidepressants Must Differentiate Themselves to Find Success, this is the attribute that most influences physician prescribing decisions for the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Lyrica also achieves a slightly greater safety score based on the fact that the drug is associated with a lower risk of weight gain and drug-to-drug interactions. Thought-leader perception of Cymbalta's less favorable safety profile is unlikely to change. There still remains an opportunity, however, for Cymbalta to demonstrate efficacy at longer time points (such as six months). This potential exists because Cymbalta only narrowly missed the defined primary end point of pain and global outcome in the only six-month clinical trial for which data are currently available (Chappell A, 2007). If future efficacy data demonstrate efficacy of Cymbalta on any primary end point at six months, very little would differentiate the drug from the current gold standard, Lyrica.
"Rheumatologists ranked six-month efficacy measures among the top three most influential end points," said Sami Fam, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "These results are in line with the assertion by many interviewed experts that longer fibromyalgia clinical trials are necessary to properly evaluate the efficacy of drug therapy for a chronic illness that often lasts much longer than a few months."
The report also finds that Forest Laboratories/Cypress Bioscience's milnacipran is viewed as the most promising emerging drug in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Although milnacipran achieves a higher efficacy score than the current clinical gold standard, Pfizer's Lyrica, the drug's overall score is slightly lower because of less favorable perceptions of safety and tolerability, including issues of weight gain and minor gastrointestinal side effects. Surveyed experts do not expect any therapy under development for fibromyalgia to displace Lyrica as the clinical gold standard for this indication. However, rheumatologists do indicate that they would prescribe milnacipran to 30 percent of their patients with fibromyalgia.
About the Report
Fibromyalgia: Upcoming FDA-Approved Antidepressants Must Differentiate Themselves to Find Success is a DecisionBase 2008 report from Decision Resources. DecisionBase 2008 combines market forecasts with clinical and commercial end points to assess market share projections in 35 indications. These outputs are driven by quantitative and qualitative primary research. DecisionBase 2008 provides detailed market share, patient share, and price-per-day projections for emerging drugs in development. The market share projections are based on prescriber surveys that compare physicians' expectations of a potential target product profile with an emerging product profile of the leading drugs in development.
The report can be purchased by contacting Decision Resources. Members of the media may request an interview with an analyst.
About Decision Resources
Decision Resources, Inc. (http://www.decisionresources.com/) is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets. Decision Resources is a Decision Resources, Inc. company.
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