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One-Third of U.S. Primary Care Physicians and Cardiologists Do Not Currently Prescribe Treatment to Meet HDL Cholesterol Targets as Recommended By National Guidelines

Although Two-Thirds of Surveyed Physicians Anticipate an Increase in the Number of Patients Treated for Low HDL Over the Next Two years, 19 Percent

of Surveyed MCOs Will Not Add Novel HDL Drugs to Their Formularies,

According to a New Report from Decision Resources

WALTHAM, Mass., March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that approximately one-third of surveyed primary care physicians (PCPs) and cardiologists do not consider it necessary to treat low high- density lipoprotein (HDL) until patients' HDL levels drop below the recommended threshold established by the U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines.

The new Physician & Payer Forum primary market research report entitled Are Payers and Physicians Ready for a Paradigm Shift in Preventive Cardiology? An Assessment of Current and Future Use of HDL-Targeting Therapies finds that most surveyed PCPs and cardiologists anticipate that the number of patients treated for low HDL will increase due to the launch of new HDL-raising therapies. These drugs, which offer improved tolerability and/or efficacy compared with currently available agents, include Merck's Cordaptive, Merck's MK-0524B and novel agents such as Merck's anacetrapib and Roche's dalcetrapib. However, 19 percent of surveyed managed care organizations' (MCOs) pharmacy directors said that they would not add any novel HDL drug to their private plan formularies. The report finds that MCOs have lower efficacy expectations than physicians do for new HDL-raising therapies and are more willing to trade off improvements in efficacy in return for treatments that offer better safety and tolerability.

"MCO pharmacy directors say that the most important key factors that would affect their willingness to include a novel HDL-raising therapy into their private plan formularies include outcomes data, low cost and efficacy in reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or high triglycerides in addition to raising HDL," said Donny Wong, Ph.D., principal analyst at Decision Resources. "Drug companies are unlikely to get good formulary tier placement for novel HDL therapies on the basis of improved tolerability alone."

Are Payers and Physicians Ready for a Paradigm Shift in Preventive Cardiology? An Assessment of Current and Future Use of HDL-Targeting Therapies is based on a U.S. survey of 73 U.S. cardiologists, 73 PCPs, and 21 MCO pharmacy directors. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic and scientific factors.

About High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

Patients with low levels of HDL cholesterol are at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease, even if their levels of LDL cholesterol are well controlled. An estimated 50 percent of cardiovascular events occur in patients with low HDL, an under-treated disorder that afflicts nearly 30 million individuals in the United States. In 2007, agents that target low HDL achieved less than $800 million in sales, compared with close to $8 billion achieved by statins targeting high LDL.

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 ( 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, Inc.


SOURCE Decision Resources, Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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