Lack of Flulike Side-Effects Drives Physician Prescribing of Copaxone over
an Interferon-Beta Therapy, According to a New Report from Decision
WALTHAM, Mass., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Teva Pharmaceutical's Copaxone has the greatest patient share among first- and second-line therapies, and falls short of Merck Serono/Pfizer's Rebif (by 0.2 percent) in third-line treatment. However, in all three lines of therapy, the interferon-beta drug class (Biogen Idec's Avonex, Rebif, and Berlex's Betaseron) outpaces the altered peptide ligand drug class (consisting only of Copaxone) in patient share. Competition between the two drug classes is fiercest in first-line therapy.
"The low volume of patient share attributed to Avonex or Rebif compared with Copaxone in first- and second-line treatment illustrates a significant delay on the part of physicians and/or patients to engage in an interferon- beta therapy within a year of a patient's initial diagnosis for multiple sclerosis," said Madhuri Borde, analyst at Decision Resources. "However, the magnitudes of Rebif's first- and second-line patient shares suggest that some physicians are treating the disease more aggressively than might be expected, as this high-dose, high-frequency agent reaches patient shares close to and surpassing Avonex in first- and second-line treatment, respectively."
According to the new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Multiple
Sclerosis, neurologists note that Copaxone's better short-term and
long-term side-effect/safety profile, together with its lower rate of
induction of neutralizing antibodies, are critical reasons for choosing
Copaxone instead of Avonex, Rebif and Betaseron. Although Copaxone is
administered daily, 23-28 percent of neurologists we surveyed indicate that
a key reason to
|SOURCE Decision Resources|
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