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Simvastatin Leads Pfizer's Lipitor in Second-Line Patient Share for the Treatment of Dyslipidemia
Date:5/13/2008

Results from the ENHANCE Trial Impacting Physician Prescribing Patterns,

According to a New Report from Decision Resources

WALTHAM, Mass., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that simvastatin (Merck's Zocor, generics) leads Pfizer's Lipitor in second-line patient share -- 22.9 percent versus 14.7 percent. Most patients progressing to simvastatin do so after switching from Lipitor. Surveyed primary care physicians and cardiologists cite simvastatin's better reimbursement and formulary status as the primary reason to prescribe simvastatin instead of Lipitor. Nevertheless, despite the availability of generic statins, more than 75 percent of Lipitor's prescriptions stem from first-line therapy.

The report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Dyslipidemia also finds that, prior to the release of the ENHANCE trial results, Merck/Schering-Plough's Vytorin and AstraZeneca's Crestor also gained significant second-line patient shares-13.1 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively. These gains reflect physicians' efforts to boost efficacy in patients whose initial low-density lipoprotein (LDL) lowering treatment had been less than optimal; surveyed physicians perceive these agents to offer the best LDL-reducing ability. However, 47 percent of surveyed primary care physicians and 49 percent of surveyed cardiologists have changed their prescribing of Merck/Schering- Plough's Zetia and Vytorin because of data from the ENHANCE trial, which showed that the addition of Zetia to simvastatin treatment did not significantly change carotid artery thickness. The majority of surveyed physicians now prescribe Vytorin and Zetia in fewer new patients, with a smaller percentage of physicians switching patients off of these drugs.

"Cardiologists we surveyed expect to decrease their first- and second-line prescriptions for Vytorin between 2008 and 2010,
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SOURCE Decision Resources
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