BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that, in a survey of U.S. and European psychiatrists, nearly all respondents indicate a moderate to high level of unmet need exists for efficacious therapies to address cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS), which affects an estimated 80% of diagnosed schizophrenia patients. Among eight clinical and nonclinical attributes tested, efficacy attributes received the highest mean unmet need scores in both regions, consistent with the fact that no drugs are approved for CIAS in either region, and no therapies marketed for other diseases have demonstrated efficacy in this population, either in clinical trials or in clinical practice.
- Less than 10% of surveyed U.S. and European psychiatrists report high satisfaction with the efficacy of currently available procognitive or stimulant therapies that are occasionally prescribed off-label for CIAS (e.g., donepezil). When considering overall performance (e.g., efficacy, safety and tolerability), few respondents perceive any of the seven off-label candidates queried to perform well in CIAS patients. These data align with interviewed experts' reports that only a small minority of schizophrenia patients receive adjunctive pharmacotherapy specifically for cognitive deficits.
- A therapy's ability to improve patient function, followed closely by its effect on overall cognition, emerged as the most influential attribute in respondents' prescribing decisions in CIAS, based on a derived importance analysis.
- More than half of U.S. respondents perceive patients' out-of-pocket costs to be highly important to their prescribing choice in CIAS; while the mean importance score assigned by U.S. psychiatrists is significantly higher than that ascribed by European psychiatrists, drug price emerges as the most influential attribute in both regions through a conjoint analysis.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Bethany Christmann, Ph.D.:
- "Today's CIAS pipeline is sparse, owing in part to a history of failed trials—most recently Forum Pharmaceuticals' encenicline—which will prolong the high level of unmet need in this arena. However, a handful of companies have new drug candidates in mid-phase development, each aiming to be the first to capitalize on this large and wholly untapped commercial opportunity. More broadly, our findings indicate that any drug—approved or off-label, antipsychotic or other—that demonstrates an effect on CIAS symptoms and maintains an acceptable safety profile would have an advantage in the schizophrenia market."
- "On average, surveyed psychiatrists rated the overall level of unmet need in CIAS as high, similar to the need for drugs to treat the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, for which effective treatments also do not exist. Moreover, despite the numerous atypical antipsychotics approved to treat the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, the average unmet need score for positive symptoms was moderate—consistent with findings in other new DRG research highlighting the clinical shortcomings of available drugs, particularly in treatment-resistant patients. Perhaps not surprisingly, surveyed physicians indicated that a CIAS therapy's impact on psychiatric symptoms—whether worsening or improving the symptoms—will play an important role in prescribing decisions."
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