BURLINGTON, Mass., Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that the FDA approval of Pfizer's supplemental New Drug Application for Xeljanz in February 2014 to include the reduction of radiographic progression of structural joint damage has had a positive impact on U.S. rheumatologists' perceptions of this rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment. Over three-quarters of surveyed rheumatologists indicate moderate to substantial impact by Xeljanz's labeling extension to include the inhibition of structural damage. Furthermore, nearly 80 percent of surveyed physicians believe Xeljanz is superior to methotrexate with regard to its ability to inhibit structural progression in patients with RA.
Other key findings from the report entitled LaunchTrends: Xeljanz (Wave 5):
-- Awareness/familiarity: At 18 months post launch of Xeljanz, all surveyed rheumatologists report awareness of the treatment and virtually all (99 percent) have moderate to high familiarity with the drug. Furthermore, rheumatologists in Wave 5 rated their familiarity with Xeljanz significantly higher than in all four previous waves. -- Xeljanz trial: Eighteen months after the launch of Xeljanz, the majority of surveyed rheumatologists (92 percent) in Wave 5 are users. Prescribers of Xeljanz in the current wave have already initiated the product in an average of 13 patients. The majority of Xeljanz prescribers (93 percent) rated the product with moderate to high satisfaction. -- Perceived advantages: The main perceived advantage of Xeljanz, unaided, across all five waves is its oral administration. Nearly 80 percent of surveyed rheumatologists in Wave 5 indicated Xeljanz's greatest advantage is that it is administered orally. Between one-fifth to over one quarter of rheumatologists across all four waves cited Xeljanz's unique mechanism of action as a JAK inhibitor as a main advantage of the product. -- Perceived disadvantages: Cost/insurance coverage is considered the greatest disadvantage of Xeljanz by approximately one-third of rheumatologists in Wave 5, more than in any previous wave of research. Safety/side effects are considered the second greatest disadvantage of Xeljanz by just under one-fifth of the surveyed rheumatologists in Wave 5.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Director Lynn Price:
-- "Nearly all of the Wave 5 surveyed rheumatologist have a moderate to highly favorable reaction to Xeljanz's product profile. The mean favorability reaction is significantly higher than in all previous waves, indicating that rheumatologists are increasingly improving their reaction, potentially because they have become familiar and aware of the profile's contents." -- "Over the past 18 months of tracking Pfizer's Xeljanz launch we have seen significant increases in the Xeljanz user- and patient-base, as well as physician-rated familiarity, initial reaction, interest and satisfaction with the product. It appears that at 18 months post-launch, surveyed rheumatologists have become quite comfortable with prescribing the RA treatment and the small molecule appears to be finding its place in the RA treatment algorithm."
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