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Surveyed U.S. Rheumatologists are Moderately Satisfied with Biologic Agents and Xeljanz to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

EXTON, Pa., Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that surveyed U.S. rheumatologists are moderately satisfied with the currently available biologic agents as well as Pfizer's Xeljanz for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Physicians have a strong preference for the more established, market-leading TNF-alpha inhibitors, Amgen/Pfizer's Enbrel and AbbVie's Humira, over other biologic agents and Xeljanz.  Surveyed physicians rated Enbrel and Humira highest in product satisfaction, perceive these agents as having the most favorable benefit/risk profiles, and they indicate that both products outperform other TNF-alpha inhibitors on the most important stated attributes to prescribing RA therapies. Consequently, these two biologic therapies are used typically as first- or second-line biologic treatment after conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy failure.


The TreatmentTrends®:Rheumatoid Arthritis (US) report finds that rheumatologists participating in this study also rated Xeljanz, the newest entrant in the RA market, moderately. However, Xeljanz was rated significantly lower than all biologics on overall product performance. In addition, Xeljanz has yet to carve out a distinct place in the RA treatment algorithm. Physicians reported using the product most often after one to three TNF-alpha inhibitor failures. The report also finds that only 14 percent of Xeljanz patients were biologic naive.

"Xeljanz was on the market 9 months at the time this study was fielded, so rheumatologists may not be certain as to which patient types would benefit most from Xeljanz, which is why they are trying it on different patient types at various points in the treatment algorithm," said BioTrends Senior Director Greta Unger. "A relatively low percentage of Xeljanz patients were biologic naive even though it has been approved for use in this patient group. It will be interesting to see if physicians' behavior changes over time as they gain more experience with the product."

About BioTrends Research Group
BioTrends Research Group provides syndicated and custom primary market research to pharmaceutical manufacturers competing in clinically evolving, specialty pharmaceutical markets. For information on BioTrends publications and research capabilities, please visit BioTrends is a Decision Resources Group company.

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