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Physicians Reconsider Implications of Enhance Trial

First Impact Report Reveals Shift in Prescribing Patterns As More MDs

Question Clinical Outcomes of Cholesterol-Reducing Drug

NEW YORK, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the controversy surrounding the release of the preliminary ENHANCE trial results on January 14, 2008, physicians are less concerned now -- roughly three weeks later -- about the trial results than they were initially, according to a pivotal FirstImpact Report issued today by FirstWord Publishing, publishers of the FirstWord newsletter, the world's leading source of news for the pharmaceutical industry.

The report, FirstImpact: ENHANCE trial results -- physicians evolving reactions, is based on surveys with general practitioners and cardiologists. The ENHANCE clinical trial results showed that Vytorin, a combination of Zetia and Zocor, is no more effective than Zocor in reducing plaque formation in patients with a condition that affects only about 0.2 percent of the population overall.

In the 48 hours after Merck/Schering-Plough released the preliminary results of the ENHANCE clinical trial, 82 percent of surveyed physicians responded that the results would have an impact on their prescribing decisions. A follow-up survey conducted by FirstImpact Reports on January 31 showed that this impact had decreased to 60 percent. Nonetheless, the FirstImpact survey also found that a large group of physicians continued to have negative reactions to the ENHANCE trial.

"There has been considerable speculation about the potential shifts in prescriptions of Vytorin and Zetia as a result of the ENHANCE trial results. But ultimately, it is the attitudes and treatment intentions of practicing physicians that determine how significantly prescriptions for these products will continue to be affected by the fallout of the ENHANCE trial," said Dominique Balas, president of FirstImpact Reports. She continues, "Our research found that while physicians' prescribing intentions have stabilized, some physicians surveyed by FirstImpact are still planning to switch patients away from Vytorin to therapies such as generic Zocor, Crestor, and Lipitor."

"FirstImpact Reports recruits physicians from the P\S\L Group Healthcare Advisory Board, a community of over 400,000 physicians around the world. For the initial survey, FirstImpact was able to immediately interview 100 US-based physicians within 48 hours following the release of the ENHANCE trial results to gauge their initial reactions to this breaking news," explains Balas. "Two weeks later we conducted a follow-up survey with an additional 120 physicians. FirstImpact Reports are able to immediately measure physicians' reactions to news events because we have unique access to a proprietary panel of over 400, 000 physicians world-wide."

The FirstImpact: ENHANCE trial results - physicians evolving reactions report can be ordered online at

About FirstImpact Reports

FirstImpact Reports measure the impact of important medical news on the attitudes and prescribing intentions of practicing physicians, based on market research with physicians. FirstImpact Reports are for industry professionals who need to immediately understand the impact of breaking news.

For more information about this report or other FirstImpact Reports contact Dominique Balas at (514) 938-5480 or by email at FirstImpact Reports is located at 24 West 40th Street, Suite 950, New York, NY, 10018.

CONTACT: Julie Laitin (212) 286-2424


SOURCE FirstImpact Reports
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