BURLINGTON, Mass., July 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that despite the replacement of Purdue Pharma's OxyContin and Endo Pharmaceuticals' Opana ER with abuse-deterrent formulations, surveyed primary care physicians (PCPs) do not feel more comfortable prescribing these products for the treatment of chronic pain. In contrast, the majority of surveyed pain specialists report that they are more comfortable prescribing OxyContin and Opana ER now that the products feature abuse-deterrent properties.
The U.S. Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Chronic Pain: How Will U.S. Payers and Prescribers Shape Market Access for Recently Launched and Emerging Products? also finds that 57 percent and 53 percent of surveyed managed care organization (MCO) directors report that coverage of OxyContin and Opana ER has not changed as a result of the products' reformulation to be abuse-deterrent—suggesting that, in many patients, the cost to reimburse OxyContin and Opana ER may outweigh the advantages of the abuse-deterrent formulations. In cases where a non-abuse-deterrent generic opioid was available, MCO directors are likely to only reimburse an abuse-deterrent product in patients with a history of drug abuse—signaling that emerging abuse-deterrent formulations will still be subject to coverage restrictions.
The report also finds that cost will likewise be an important consideration for prescribing and reimbursement of new chronic pain therapies, most notably for Pfizer's novel anti-NGF therapy tanezumab. Seventy-four percent of surveyed PCPs and 48 percent of surveyed pain specialists who do not expect to prescribe tanezumab cite the high expected cost of the drug for the patient as a reason that they would be unwilling to prescribe the drug. As a biologic therapy, tanezumab is expected to be priced at a considerable premium over traditional oral analgesics.
"Although the responses of surveyed physicians suggest that efficacy and safety/tolerability are the most important factors influencing treatment decisions for chronic pain, these physicians anticipate that patient out-of-pocket costs and reimbursement constraints will directly influence their prescribing of emerging chronic pain therapies," said Decision Resources Principal Business Insights Analyst Natalie Taylor, Ph.D. "Even if an emerging therapy demonstrates significantly greater efficacy than the current standard of care for reducing pain, we find that both surveyed PCPs and pain specialists consistently assign lower anticipated patient shares to emerging therapies if the agents were to be covered by MCOs as non-preferred brands. However, emerging therapies that lower the overall long-term costs of treating chronic pain conditions may potentially secure more favorable reimbursement status from MCOs."
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SOURCE Decision Resources