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Asthma Agents Currently Face a Suboptimal Coverage Environment in Brazil and Mexico, and as the Treatment Armamentarium Expands, Competitiveness Will Further Intensify

BURLINGTON, Mass., Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that the asthma market in Brazil and Mexico currently faces severe coverage restrictions. The uptake of several newly approved agents, the anticipated label extension of Boehringer Ingelheim/Pfizer's Spiriva for this indication and the launch of emerging biologics will substantially increase the competitiveness of these asthma markets. In particular, the emerging IL-5 inhibitors will introduce a new dynamic to the severe, disease-refractory market segment. In terms of patients for whom Genentech/Novartis's Xolair (omalizumab) is currently the only therapeutic option, the severe, disease-refractory market segment is characterized by high morbidity and frequent hospitalizations. Additionally, the treatment of severe, refractory asthma is a burden to the healthcare systems in Brazil and Mexico, and reducing direct costs such as those associated with acute exacerbations and the need for hospitalization and ER visits is one of the most valuable attributes for formulary inclusion.

Other key findings from the Emerging Markets Physician and Payer Forum report entitled Positioning of Current and Emerging Agents for Asthma: Physician and Payer Perspectives on the Prescribing and Patient Access Landscape in Brazil and Mexico include:

  • Factors restricting patient access to treatment: In Brazil and Mexico, limited reimbursement along with the high cost of currently available agents are the main factors restricting patient access to key treatments for asthma.
  • Usage of generics and biosimilars: Due to the tendering purchase models used in the public sector in both countries, the use of generic LABA/ICS fixed-dose combinations and biosimilar omalizumab is likely to be promoted.
  • Novel IL-5 inhibitors: Surveyed physicians are optimistic about novel IL-5 inhibitors, such as Cephalon/Teva's Cinquil and GlaxoSmithKline's Bosatria.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Director Andreia Ribeiro, Ph.D.:

  • "HTA is rapidly becoming the most powerful driver of market access in Brazil and Mexico. Demonstration of statistically superior clinical benefit (preferably head-to-head) in the target population requested for coverage—a detail commonly overlooked in HTA submissions—and positive cost-benefit to the local healthcare systems will be determinant for formulary inclusion of emerging brands."
  • "Existing asthma drugs have shown good efficacy and safety in general, but asthma patients are mostly polymedicated, raising concerns about compliance and overall treatment costs. New drugs (such as the first once-daily LABA/ICS, GlaxoSmithKline/Theravance's Relvar/Relvare) attempt to respond to at least some of these needs but their uptake will be highly dependent on price in these very cost-sensitive markets."

About Decision Resources Group
Decision Resources Group offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on critical issues within the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Find out more at

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For more information, contact:

Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort



SOURCE Decision Resources Group
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