Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that while levodopa remains the gold standard for Parkinson's disease treatment, physicians say they will increasingly use other agents to delay the need for levodopa. According to the new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Parkinson's Disease, 46 percent of surveyed neurologists say it is "very likely" or "likely" they will increasingly delay their use of levodopa-carbidopa in treatment practice over the next two years. In the U.S., levodopa and carbidopa are prescribed together.
Physicians are looking to delay levodopa use because over time, treatment with levodopa can lead to motor fluctuations, dyskinesia and reduced responsiveness to levodopa. Compared with primary care physicians, surveyed neurologists less frequently use levodopa as first-line therapy for patients with mild disease under the age of 65 and are increasingly using dopamine agonists and MAO-B inhibitors to manage mild motor symptoms and delay the need for levodopa. At the same time, more than half of surveyed primary care physicians say that it is "very likely" or "likely" they will increasingly use dopamine agonists and/or MAO-B inhibitors when initiating levodopa therapy in order to lower the dose of levodopa-carbidopa required.
"Since all Parkinson's disease patients are ultimately treated with levodopa, educating primary care physicians on the merits of levodopa-adjunct therapies like dopamine agonists and MAO-B inhibitors should help drug marketers drive greater uptake of these therapies," said Decision Resources Analyst Sami Fam, Ph.D. "In particular, education about the benefits of delaying levodopa therapy in young Parkinson's disease patients is key, since this patient population is the one most likely to be under the care of a primary care physician."
About Treatment Algorithm Insight Series
Decision Resources combines in-depth primary research with the most extensive claims-based longitudinal patient-level data from IMS LifeLink's Health Plans Claims database to provide exceptional insight into physicians' prescribing trends and the factors that drive therapy product choice, from diagnosis through multiple courses of treatment, for a specific disease.
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