BURLINGTON, Mass., Dec. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that surveyed EU5 physicians report that more than half of their hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients were being treated with interferon (IFN)-free regimens. Factors such as regulatory approval date and pricing and reimbursement negotiations contributed to wide variation in the uptake dynamics of novel HCV therapies. Differences between EU5 markets were most apparent in the treatment of non-cirrhotic patients with lower liver fibrosis scores, who are typically deprioritized for access to IFN-free therapies. This effect is exemplified in the United Kingdom, where 45 percent of non-cirrhotic treatment-naive genotype-1 patients were being treated with IFN dual therapy or first generation protease inhibitor triple therapy, according to survey results, though this will change rapidly with the recent approval of new direct acting antivirals in the UK in late 2015.
Other key findings from the special report entitled "TreatmentTrends: Hepatitis C Virus 2015 (EU)":
- Surveyed EU5 physicians report that nearly two-thirds of their genotype-1 and -2/3 HCV patients are non-cirrhotic and thus are not prioritized for treatment. However, only one-quarter of treatment-naive non-cirrhotic HCV patients in the EU5 are being actively warehoused, down from 30 percent a year ago, suggesting EU5 countries are increasingly treating HCV-infected patients regardless of liver disease stage.
- Across EU5 countries, Gilead's Harvoni and a combination of Gilead's Sovaldi and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Daklinza are the leading regimens for treatment-experienced cirrhotic patients with genotype-1 and -2/3 infection, respectively. Uptake of these agents in the EU5 was primarily driven by France and Germany. Surveyed EU5 physicians rate both regimens highly on overall safety, efficacy in both compensated and decompensated cirrhotic patients, as well as efficacy in HCV genotype-1 and -3 infections.
- Surveyed EU5 physicians indicate the need for novel therapies with pan-genotypic activity, regimens with treatment duration under 12 weeks and for increased patient access to efficacious but costly therapies. In addition, physicians expect Merck & Co.'s grazoprevir/elbasvir to bring the most immediate benefit to their patients, likely due to improved treatment efficacy in difficult-to-treat populations, such as patients with renal impairment.
Comments from Decision Resources Business Insights Analyst James T. Heeres, Ph.D.:
- "Although EU5 physicians rate Gilead's Harvoni and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Daklinza highly on efficacy, they are clearly critical of the cost of these therapies. However, according to our research, cost issues may recede in the near future as some EU5 countries work to lift access barriers. This still leaves the door open for emerging therapies to compete on efficacy in niche populations and, to some degree, on cost."
- "As our primary research had predicted, drug treatment rates and patient shares for Harvoni, Abbvie's Viekirax, and Daklinza have grown in the EU5, largely in response to lowering of market access barriers. However, the potential approval of several pan-genotypic regimens (e.g. Gilead's Sovaldi + velpatasvir) and regimens targeting niche populations (e.g. Merck & Co.'s grazoprevir/elbasvir) will likely kick-start another round of pricing negotiations. Alternatively, currently approved regimens may retain market share if physician preference and cost present substantial market access barriers for emerging therapies."
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