EXTON, Pa., Nov. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Bio-Trends is pleased to announce the publication of a new syndicated report, TreatmentTrends®: Rheumatoid Arthritis Q3 2010. This report covers the use of biologics for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The report, part of a quarterly series, focuses on current and future use of biologic agents, patient market share, perceived strengths and weaknesses of the key brands, barriers to broader usage, sales force performance and perceived value of manufacturers' patient assistance programs.
Despite the availability of newer TNF-alpha inhibitors, the TNF refractory market still remains relatively large. As many as one-fourth of first-time biologic users ultimately require a switch to another biologic agent due to poor response or waning efficacy of TNF-alpha inhibitors. However, the newer TNF-alpha inhibitors and biologic agents with alternative mechanisms of action are still perceived as less efficacious and less safe compared to the established TNF-alpha inhibitors.
The patient market share for the newest biologic agent, Genentech-Roche's Actemra (launched in January 2010), is currently estimated to be less than 5 percent among biologic-treated, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. However, according to surveyed rheumatologists' projections, the patient share of Actemra among the Medicare RA population is projected to exceed the patient share estimates of UCB's Cimzia and Centocor Ortho Biotech's Simponi in the next six months. Furthermore, the patient share of Actemra among rheumatologists with in-office-infusion capability is projected to increase by more than 50 percent in the next six months.
Amgen/Pfizer's Enbrel and Abbott Labs' Humira are currently the preferred first- and second-line biologic agents, respectively, among surveyed rheumatologists for the treatment of RA. However, almost one-fifth of rheumatologists cited decreased usage of both Enbrel and Humira in the past six months and, overall, rheumatologists project significantly lower RA patient share for both agents in the next six months. Among rheumatologists who use Cimzia and Simponi, as many as one-third of their RA patients who are initiated on these newer TNF-alpha inhibitors are biologic-naive.
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