Physicians increase prescription of new biologics

Sermo (, the world's largest online community for physicians, today announced a Sermo Event Report titled "Is there any Threat to Anti-TNFs from Newer Biologic DMARDs?" In the past year, the FDA has approved four new biologic DMARDs – Actemra (Genentech), Orencia (Bristol-Myers Squibb), Simponi (Centocor Ortho Biotech), and Cimzia (UCB). According to the report, Orencia leads the pack among physicians as the next line of treatment for patients who fail two or more TNF antagonists.  However, new biologics Simponi and Cimzia are finding important niche cases that could impact future prescribing.

"Our data shows that Orencia has established itself as the early leader due to its safety profile and special patient populations, such as those with high risk for infection or significant heart failure," said Dr. Adam Sharp, Chief Medical Officer at Sermo. "However, the data also shows that physicians are increasing prescribing of new biologics that offer patients faster responses, easier administration, and less frequent injections. The ramifications of these benefits on prescribing have the potential to be substantial."

According to the key findings, most respondents expect to increase their prescriptions for all non anti-TNF biologics in the next 12 months. Physicians specifically pointed to Cimzia for patients that need a quick onset of reaction and noted the use of Simponi for patients with compliance issues. Actemra is yet to be widely used mostly due to a lack of long-term efficacy/safety data.

More than 200 Rheumatologists on Sermo were surveyed and participated in an online discussion for this report, which covers:

  • How physicians use Anti-TNFs vs. non-biologic DMARDs
  • How FDA approval of Actemra will impact prescribing behavior
  • Impact of prior authorization and other managed care requirements on use of biologics
  • How reimbursement/cost impacts patients getting biologics
  • Most preferred drugs and why
  • Analysis of why certain drugs are selected for first-line therapy
  • Overall perceptions of treatments and drug preferences
  • Safety concerns impacting prescribing
  • Expected changes in prescribing over 2-4 years

Top companies and medications analyzed in this report include Actemra (Genentech), Orencia (Bristol-Myers Squibb), Simponi (Centocor Ortho Biotech), and Cimzia (UCB), Rituxan (Genentech/Biogen Idec), ENBREL (Amgen/Wyeth), Kineret (biovitrum), Humira (Abbott), and Remicade (Centocor Ortho Biotech).




The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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