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Despite Managed Care Obstacles, Interest and Anticipated Use of Centocor Ortho-Biotech's New Psoriasis Agent Stelara (ustekinumab) is High
Date:11/25/2009

EXTON, Pa., Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, Inc. released Wave 1 of its LaunchTrends(TM): Stelara report, the first in a multi-phase syndicated market research project tracking the launch of Centocor Ortho-Biotech's Stelara, from product launch through the first six months of availability. Each wave of the report provides quantitative information from 75 unique Dermatologists and qualitative information from a subset of 20. The reports assess trial and use of Stelara, obstacles to use, typical patient types, product perceptions, promotional efforts/messages, and satisfaction with the product relative to other approved psoriasis agents.

Virtually all Dermatologists are aware of Stelara and interest in the product is high. Dermatologists view the required health care professional administration and the quarterly maintenance doing option as an advantage compared to other available biologic agents. On the downside, Dermatologists express concerns regarding the difficulty in obtaining managed care approval which has caused delays in the fulfillment of prescriptions for Stelara to date. Stelara uptake may also be somewhat blunted by the shadow of this year's withdrawal of Genentech's Raptiva related to serious adverse events. According to one respondent, "It kind of shell shocked us a little bit and we're always a bit leery about new agents."

Despite these concerns, there is strong interest in Stelara among Dermatologists. Nearly one-third of those surveyed have already prescribed the drug during the first month following launch. Among those who have yet to prescribe, 32% anticipate a product trial in the next three months. Considering the dominant market share position of Enbrel, it is not surprising that Stelara uptake is projected to have the greatest impact on Enbrel use.

The next wave of research will be conducted in January 2010 at three months post launch
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