Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that surveyed neurologists have low awareness of Novartis/Mitsubishi Tanabe's FTY-720 (Gilenia) among the surveyed oral emerging therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). According to the new report, Brand Perception Series: Physician Segmentation in Multiple Sclerosis, just over one-third of surveyed physicians have heard of FTY-720 (Gilenia) compared with three-quarters of surveyed physicians who are aware of Merck Serono/EMD Serono's oral cladribine and half of surveyed physicians who are aware of Teva/Active Biotech's laquinimod.
The majority of surveyed physicians indicate that they will use the surveyed emerging oral agents in relapse/remitting MS patients who have failed therapy with interferon-betas and Teva's Copaxone. Only a small percentage (10 percent or less) will use the surveyed emerging oral agents in treatment-naive patients. Surveyed physicians report they will most likely prescribe these emerging oral agents for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of their current therapy or who are unwilling to risk the side effects of Biogen Idec/Elan's Tysabri.
Thirty percent of physicians surveyed fall into the high-volume, cost-conscious prescriber segment, and value out-of-pocket cost to the patient and reimbursement restrictions more than the other segments in this analysis.
"Among the three physician segments identified in this analysis, the high-volume, cost-conscious prescribers are the most-likely to prescribe FTY-720 (Gilenia) if approved. Survey results indicate the majority of these physicians will reserve prescribing the agent to patients who have failed both interferon-betas and Copaxone, or to those who have failed Tysabri," said Decision Resources Analyst Cindy Fung, Ph.D. "While FTY-720 may be reserved as a later-line therapy, high-volume, cost-conscious physicians are not as concerned about familiarity with an agent, so they may be more willing to adopt a novel emerging agent, provided it is priced competitively."