Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that while Amgen/Stiefel/Pfizer's Enbrel is the most popular biologic across all lines of therapy for psoriasis treatment in newly diagnosed patients, Abbott's Humira is gaining increasing use as a first-line biologic at Enbrel's expense. According to the new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Psoriasis, dermatologists' increasing familiarity with Humira, along with its better efficacy, more convenient dosing than Enbrel and established safety profile are the leading factors for Humira's growing popularity as a first-line biologic choice.
The report also finds that Centocor Ortho Biotech's Stelara has shown rapid uptake among dermatologists, despite its lack of long-term safety data. Sixty-four percent of surveyed dermatologists indicate that they use Stelara a higher percentage than those surveyed who currently prescribe Centocor Ortho Biotech's TNF-alpha inhibitor Remicade (49 percent). Additionally, 55 percent of surveyed dermatologists expect to increase their use of Stelara over the next two years. Dermatologists who prescribe both Stelara and Humira score each drug's efficacy in clearing psoriatic plaques as nearly equivalent, and perceive Stelara to be inferior to Humira when considering long-term safety record and reimbursement/lower copay. Surveyed dermatologists cite efficacy in clearing psoriatic plaques and long-term safety record as the most important attributes when choosing a first-choice biologic.
"Since our analysis in 2009, dermatologists' reported percentage of Humira use in the first line of therapy has increased substantially—from 22 percent to 37 percent. These results suggest that dermatologists are increasingly comfortable initiating treatment with Humira instead of with conventional systemic agents or Enbrel," said Decision Resources Therapeutic Area Director Madhuri Borde, Ph.D. "In addition, when asked which agents will be displaced by increasing use of Stelara over twice as many surveyed dermatologists who project this trend cite Enbrel as Humira, suggesting that Stelara's uptake will affect Enbrel's usage to a greater extent than Humira's."