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Specialists Are Turning to Biologics Earlier in the Treatment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
Date:9/10/2007

Managed Care Organizations Aggressively Control Access to Biologics,

According to a New Report from Decision Resources

WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that specialists are turning to biologics earlier in the course of treatment for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. According to the new Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis: The Expanding Biologics Landscape, surveyed dermatologists last year tried an average of 5.8 therapies for moderate psoriasis before turning to biologics. By mid-2008 they will try only 2.1 other therapies before turning to biologics. Likewise for axial psoriatic arthritis, rheumatologists tried an average of 4.1 other therapies prior to biologics last year; by mid-2008 they will only try 1.7 nonbiologics.

Specialists say the role of biologics will expand through mid-2008. Seventy-two percent of dermatologists and 90% of rheumatologists say they will write more scripts for biologics for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, respectively, through mid-2008. These specialists estimate that their use of biologics will increase by 9.9 percent in psoriasis and 11.9 percent in psoriatic arthritis.

In contrast to clinicians' increasingly aggressive use of biologics, the report also finds that managed care organizations (MCOs) are restricting access to biologics.

"By mid-2008, one half of surveyed MCOs' private plans will have step therapy protocols in place and 14 out of 20 surveyed MCOs will impose prior authorization for Enbrel, the leading biologic agent, for psoriasis therapy," said Joanna Kim, analyst at Decision Resources. "Physicians estimate that biologic therapy is currently delayed in 30-45% of their patients because of step therapy protocols imposed by MCOs. And overall, specialists perceive biologics to be less accessible for the tre
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SOURCE Decision Resources
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