BURLINGTON, Mass., June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that, within one year of commercial availability, 100 percent of surveyed U.S. neurologists have prescribed Biogen Idec's Tecfidera to at least one of their multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, far surpassing the one-year trial rate for Genzyme's Aubagio (69 percent) and Novartis's Gilenya (79 percent), despite the fact that Tecfidera is the third-to-market oral disease-modifying therapy (DMT) for MS. Driven by significant increases wave over wave, neurologist-reported Tecfidera patient share among DMT-treated relapsing-remitting MS (RR-MS) patients has grown to 13 percent and now exceeds that reported for Aubagio and Gilenya combined. Among high Tecfidera prescribers, Tecfidera is anticipated to become the RR-MS patient share leader as it will overtake Teva's Copaxone within the next six months.
Other key findings from the LaunchTrends: Tecfidera Wave 4 (US) report:
-- Patient share leader among switches: After one year on the market, Tecfidera captures the greatest allocation of recent switch prescriptions among DMT-treated RR-MS patients suggesting that it may be the most preferred DMT for second- or later-line therapy. Three out of five current Tecfidera-treated patients started the product as their second-line or later DMT. -- Increasing first-line use: With the majority of neurologists reporting comfort with prescribing Tecfidera first line, Tecfidera's allocation among recent treatment-naive RR-MS patients has increased significantly and is now second only to Copaxone. -- Stable discontinuation rate: Tolerability issues, specifically flushing and gastrointestinal (GI) issues, are the most common reasons behind Tecfidera discontinuations with approximately one-third of Tecfidera-treated patients experiencing flushing and/or GI events. However, even with the significant increases in product use, Tecfidera's discontinuation rate has remained stable compared to six months ago.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Emma McFadden, Ph.D.:
-- "Interestingly, high Tecfidera prescribers rate the product as performing significantly better on overall tolerability/side effect profile compared with low prescribers. Given that high prescribers are more likely to have at least some of their patients experience flushing and/or GI events, this finding suggests that their more-extensive experience has increased their comfort managing side effects as they arise. Indeed, during qualitative follow up, interviewed neurologists largely agreed that Tecfidera-related side effects are manageable as physicians have now introduced steps to help mitigate them, including taking Tecfidera with food and slowing the titration schedule using 120 mg samples." -- "Similar to the detailing reach reported with Gilenya one year post-launch, two-thirds of surveyed neurologists recounted a recent detail on Tecfidera. While efficacy and safety continued to be the most frequently recalled top-of-mind messages from these recent Tecfidera details, the product messaging appears to be evolving to focus less on its oral formulation and more on Tecfidera being a market leader."
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