Nov 20 2010
Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that in the treatment of dyslipidemia, surveyed cardiologists and primary care physicians (PCPs) now perceive AstraZeneca's Crestor's ability to reduce mortality comparable to Pfizer's Lipitor. This finding has changed from Decision Resources' 2009 analysis in which surveyed cardiologists viewed Lipitor as significantly better on this end point.
According to Treatment Algorithms in Dyslipidemia, patient share for Crestor has increased to 10.6 percent in the first line, 17.5 percent in second line and is the most-prescribed drug in the third line with 22.9 percent share. While the results of the Justification of the Use of Statins in Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin (JUPITER) trial, which were reported in November 2008, has improved physician perception of Crestor's mortality benefits, other drivers of the patient-share increase include advantages in efficacy as well as fallout from Merck's Zetia and Vytorin which have received negative publicity around the outcomes of two clinical trials.
"Crestor has overtaken Lipitor in many cases as the second-line treatment of choice, often following first-line simvastatin," said Decision Resources Analyst Taskin Ahmed, MBA. "However, this trend may be reversed once generic Lipitor becomes available. Despite physicians acknowledging some advantages of Crestor over Lipitor, cost is a tipping point for many physicians who will use less of the higher-priced Crestor. In response, AstraZeneca will need to do more to convince physicians about the benefits of Crestor ahead of Lipitor's patent loss. The company may get the ammunition it needs if results are positive from the head-to-head Crestor versus Lipitor SATURN trial on atherosclerosis, which will report next year."