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U.S. Gastroenterologists Have Increased Their TNF-alpha Inhibitor Use Since 2012, Especially for AbbVie's Humira, as a Result of Its Recent Approval in Ulcerative Colitis

BURLINGTON, Mass., Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that through examination of U.S. patient-level claims data, the TNF-alpha inhibitors drug class has seen growth in all three lines of therapy, particularly the second- and third-lines, for newly diagnosed ulcerative colitis (UC) patients.

The report entitled Key Findings from Treatment Algorithms in Ulcerative Colitis finds that Janssen's Remicade is the most prescribed biologic for recently treated UC patients, followed by AbbVie's Humira. Patient share for Humira has grown 41 percent over the past year under study, likely due to its FDA approval for use in UC in September 2012. Overall, the use of TNF-alpha inhibitors has increased by 17 percent since 2012.

The findings also reveal that Remicade is more often used as a first-line biologic and therefore had more continuing patients than Humira. However, since Humira is typically used as a later-line biologic, it draws more patients from adding/switching.

"Both Remicade and Humira have very high compliance and persistency rates, which is likely adding to the increased prescriptions," said Decision Resources Analyst Jen Dolga. "However, it is important to note that despite the growth in biologic use, oral aminosalicylates remain the most commonly prescribed drug class for both newly diagnosed and recently treated patients, indicating that a less intimidating side effect profile is still important to gastroenterologists."

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