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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

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.


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®: Xeljanz, Wave 1 report also reveals that though most Xeljanz users believe it is too early to assess their satisfaction with the product, over one-fifth already state that they are highly satisfied with Xeljanz. Furthermore, physicians who cite high satisfaction say so mainly because they have received initial positive patient feedback, with reports of no/few side effects. 

LaunchTrends®: Xeljanz, Wave 1  is a four-wave syndicated report series designed to track the uptake of Xeljanz at one month, three months, six months and one year following its commercial availability based upon primary research with U.S. rheumatologists. LaunchTrends assess trial and use of new products, obstacles to use, reasons to use, typical patient types, line of therapy, product perceptions, promotional efforts/messages and product satisfaction. In the current wave of research, BioTrends surveyed 78 U.S. rheumatologists in January 2013 and conducted qualitative interviews with a subset of 15 of the respondents in February 2013.

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 contact us at BioTrends is a Decision Resources Group company.

About Decision Resources Group
Decision Resources Group is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources Group at

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact:

BioTrends Research Group
Lynn Price

Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort 

SOURCE BioTrends Research Group
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