Market Overview

In a landmark FDA ruling in March 2017, Ocrevus became the first disease-modifying therapy (DMT) approved for the treatment of primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (PP-MS). Although the drug’s efficacy appears more modest in this population than in patients with relapsing forms of MS, the combination of proven clinical benefits and a positive safety profile (to date) yields a highly compelling product for a deeply underserved population. Even so, questions remain about exactly how it will fit into the progressive MS treatment algorithm. DRG’s launch tracking series will examine how the perception and performance of Ocrevus has evolved through Year 1 with an MS prescriber base that has hitherto struggled to treat PP-MS.


  • What is the awareness of, familiarity with, and perception of Ocrevus among U.S. neurologists?
  • For which PP-MS patients are neurologists prescribing Ocrevus, what are the reasons for prescribing, and how satisfied are they with Ocrevus?
  • What promotional messages and activities are Genentech/Roche using to support the Ocrevus launch in PP-MS?
  • How does the trial and adoption of Ocrevus in PP-MS compare to the trial and adoption of Ocrevus and other recently launched products in the saturated relapsing MS market? How do adopters and nonadopters in PP-MS compare across key metrics?


Emerging Therapies is a three-wave series based on primary research data collected at 1, 6, and 12 months post-commercial launch with U.S. physicians. The research captures physicians’ awareness, perceptions, and use of the launched product as well as anticipated future trends. Insight is also provided on promotional efforts, prescriber and nonprescriber profiles, and benchmarking against other launched agents.

Markets covered: United States.

Primary research: Survey of approximately 75 U.S. neurologists.

Key metrics included:

  • Unaided and aided awareness of Ocrevus.
  • Familiarity with and impressions of Ocrevus.
  • Prescriber and nonprescriber profiles.
  • Willingness to prescribe Ocrevus.
  • Performance of Ocrevus on key attributes.
  • Sales representative frequency, reach, and satisfaction.
  • Benchmarking against previously launched MS agents.

Table of contents

  • Ocrevus PP-MS Launch Tracking Wave 3 (US)
    • Key Findings
    • Benchmarking Ocrevus's Launch Success vs. Other Launched Drugs
      • By Various Measures, Ocrevus in PP-MS Outpaces Other Benchmark DMTs for Relapsing MS at 12 Months Postlaunch
    • Prescriber and Nonprescriber Profiles
      • Differences Between Ocrevus Prescribers and Nonprescribers for PP-MS at 12 Months Postlaunch
    • Ocrevus Awareness and Perceptions
      • Unaided and Aided Awareness of Ocrevus
        • High Overall Awareness of Ocrevus and its Attributes Endures at 12 Months Postlaunch
      • Familiarity with Ocrevus
        • Familiarity with Ocrevus Remains High at 12 Months Postlaunch
      • Sources of Familiarity with Ocrevus
        • Wave 3 Neurologists Indicate Sales Representative Interactions Are a Growing Source of Familiarity
      • Initial Reaction to and Interest in Ocrevus
        • Neurologists' Favorable Reactions to Ocrevus in PP-MS and Interest in Learning More Persists at 12 Months Postlaunch
      • Impressions of Ocrevus
        • Wave 3 Neurologists Continue to Express that Ocrevus's Top Advantage is its Efficacy in and Approval for PP-MS
      • Prescriber and Nonprescriber Profiles
        • Despite Few Nonprescribers at One Year, Familiarity and Risk Aversion Fuel a Lingering Reticence to Prescribe Ocrevus in PP-MS
    • Ocrevus Trial and Use
      • Willingness to Prescribe Ocrevus
        • Willingness to Prescribe Ocrevus to PP-MS Patients Climbed Higher at 12 Months Postlaunch
      • Number of Patients Currently Receiving Ocrevus
        • Ocrevus Continues to Experience Strong Uptake in PP-MS Patients 12 Months Postlaunch
      • Reasons for Not Yet Prescribing Ocrevus
        • Safety Concerns and Patient Access Issues Continue to Impact Ocrevus Prescribing in PP-MS Patients
      • Anticipated Ocrevus Use
        • At 12 Months Postlaunch, Neurologists Expect Continued Ocrevus Penetration in the Treatment of PP-MS
      • Ocrevus Performance on Key Attributes
        • Prescribers Remain Highly Satisfied with Ocrevus's Performance on Key Attributes at 12 Months Postlaunch
    • Effectiveness of Face-to-Face Detailing for Ocrevus
      • Ocrevus Sales Representative Frequency and Reach
        • Fewer Neurologists Reported Never Having Contact with Ocrevus Sales Representatives at 12 Months Postlaunch Than in Prior Waves
      • Satisfaction with Ocrevus Sales Representative
        • Neurologists Continue to Report High Satisfaction with Ocrevus Sales Representatives at 12 Months Postlaunch
      • Ocrevus Message Recall
        • Ocrevus's Approval for PP-MS Persists as a Key Message 12 Months Postlaunch
    • Methodology
      • Primary Market Research Methodology
    • Appendix

Author(s): Sarah Soucy

Sarah Soucy, is a Business Insights Analyst with the central nervous system/ophthalmology disorders group at Decision Resources Group. She has authored primary research and insights for dry and wet age-related macular degeneration and multiple sclerosis. Prior to joining DRG, Ms. Soucy spent six years on the client side as a scientist at Pfizer in the inflammation and immunology research group with both in vitro and in vivo experience. She earned her in Animal Science with a Bioscience and Technology option and her in Nutritional Sciences from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, where she studied disordered metabolism

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