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Though Over One-Third of Rheumatologists Have Prescribed Xeljanz for Their Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients, Physicians are Still Concerned With the Drug's Limited Post-Marketing Experience and Risks of Infection and Malignancy
Date:3/25/2013

EXTON, Pa., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that, after approximately two months on the market, 37 percent of U.S. rheumatologists have prescribed Pfizer's Xeljanz (tofacitinib) in an average of three of their rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. However, nearly 10 percent of the surveyed rheumatologists do not plan on using Xeljanz until it has been on the market for at least one year and an additional 4 percent claim they will never use Xeljanz, primarily due to the drug's safety and side effect profile. When asked to consider the safety issues associated with using Xeljanz for the treatment of RA, surveyed rheumatologists are most concerned about the limited post-marketing experience with Xeljanz and the risk of serious infection and cancer. Physicians report that these issues have negatively impacted their use of the product.

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Rheumatologists report that 84 percent of RA patients currently initiated on Xeljanz were switched from another agent. However, no one product currently available for the treatment of RA seems to be substantially more at risk for displacement by the entry of Xeljanz to the market.

"Most patients initiated on Xeljanz at this point will have been previously treated with at least one anti-TNF agent and showed a poor response prior to initiation of Xeljanz," said BioTrends report author Lynn Price . "However, the oral delivery could allow for increased use among biologic naive patients, particularly those who are adverse to parenteral administration."

The recently published LaunchTrends®: Xelja
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SOURCE BioTrends Research Group
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