LaunchTrends: Keytruda Wave 3 (US) is the third in a series of syndicated reports designed to track physician perception, uptake, and competitive environment regarding the malignant melanoma drug Keytruda (Merck & Co.’s pembrolizumab).

LaunchTrends: Keytruda measures the impact of this novel agent on the unresectable or metastatic malignant melanoma therapy market following launch, based on a blend of quantitative and qualitative primary research with US medical oncologists. The report evaluates physicians’ current awareness and perception of Keytruda relative to other currently available therapies for unresectable or metastatic malignant melanoma, current and anticipated use of Keytruda, and promotional activity for Keytruda. LaunchTrends: Keytruda Wave 2 and 3 also assess surveyed medical oncologists’ perceptions of Opdivo (Bristol-Myers Squibb’s nivolumab), and Opdivo in combination with Yervoy (Bristol-Myers Squibb’s ipilimumab) following their approval for the treatment of malignant melanoma in December 2014 and October 2015, respectively. Surveyed and interviewed medical oncologists were questioned on their awareness, perception, and prescription of Opdivo with respect to treating malignant melanoma patients.

Questions Answered:

  • What is the awareness of and familiarity with Keytruda and Opdivo among medical oncologists?
  • What are the perceived clinical advantages and disadvantages of Keytruda compared with other marketed agents (including Opdivo) used for treating unresectable or metastatic malignant melanoma?
  •  To what extent are Keytruda, Opdivo, and Opdivo/Yervoy currently being used by surveyed medical oncologists? Where do they fit in the treatment algorithm? What reasons do nonprescribers give for not having prescribed Keytruda?
  •  What promotional messages are being employed by Merck & Co. for Keytruda?


Markets covered: United States.

Primary research: 76 medical oncologists; qualitative interviews with 10 respondents.

Indication coverage: unresectable or metastatic malignant melanoma.

Table of contents

  • Malignant Melanoma - Emerging Therapies - Keytruda Launch Tracking (US) Wave 3

Author(s): Paul Wilcock, PhD

Since October 2015, Dr. Wilcock has been a Business Insights Analyst in the oncology team at Decision Resources Group. He has experience in various indications including metastatic malignant melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, and will have a major focus on gastric cancer going forward.

Previously, Dr. Wilcock was a Research Funding Manager at Cancer Research UK, where he developed a deep understanding of drug discovery, predominantly in the academic setting. He gained his doctorate from the University of Manchester where he utilized Systems Biology to explore the role of cell signaling and hypoxia in oral cancer.

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