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Half of Surveyed Physicians Expect to Replace Between 6 Percent and 15 Percent of Their Sustiva Prescriptions with Isentress
Date:8/26/2008

Most Surveyed MCO Pharmacy Directors Do Not Place Cost Control Measures on Branded Antiretroviral Drugs, According to a New Report from Decision

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WALTHAM, Mass., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the expansion of labeling for Merck's Isentress to include use in treatment naive patients will significantly impact sales of the drug for HIV treatment as half of surveyed physicians expect to replace between six percent and 15 percent of their prescriptions for Bristol-Myers Squibb's Sustiva with Isentress. In 2007, 17 percent of first-line patients were treated with Sustiva, according to surveyed physicians.

The new Physician & Payer Forum primary market research report entitled Novel HIV Therapies: Physician and Payer Perspective on Recently Launched and Emerging Antiretrovirals finds that surveyed infectious disease specialists estimate that they will prescribe Isentress to more than 11 percent of their first-line patients if the drug is indicated for this patient population. Additionally, the report finds that most surveyed managed care organizations' (MCO) pharmacy directors do not place cost controls on many of the branded antiretroviral products that are covered in their private health plans. As a result, most antiretroviral drugs -- including Isentress and Sustiva -- will not be subjected to new cost control measures over the next 12 months, according to more than 80 percent of MCO pharmacy directors surveyed.

The report also finds that, in order to compete more effectively with other antiretroviral drugs, surveyed physicians indicate that drugs in the CCR5 antagonist class will need to overcome hurdles associated with the medically necessary test that is used to determine patient eligibility for CCR5 antagonist drug treatment. Physicians consider the prerequisite co-receptor tropism test for HIV patients to be a critical deterrent to prescribing CCR5 antagonist drugs.

"It is highly likely that all subsequent members of the CCR5 antagonist drug class will necessitate a tropism test prior to prescribing," said Sylvia Eash, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "To expand the use of their drugs and overcome this substantial hurdle to wider uptake, marketers of CCR5 antagonist drugs should actively support the development of a low cost test that delivers fast and accurate results."

Novel HIV Therapies: Physician and Payer Perspective on Recently Launched and Emerging Antiretrovirals is based on a U.S. survey of 103 infectious disease specialists and 20 MCO pharmacy directors. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic and scientific factors.

About Physician & Payer Forum

Physician & Payer Forum is a primary research service from Decision Resources that offers access to high volume-prescribing physicians, specialists, and managed care organization representatives in the United States; analysis of events and survey participants' responses to them; insight into prescribing patterns; and an examination of the implications of events and issues for the pharmaceutical market.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources (http://www.decisionresources.com) is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets. Decision Resources is a Decision Resources, Inc. company.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Marshall

Decision Resources

781-296-2563

emarshall@dresources.com


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SOURCE Decision Resources
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