At Six Months Post-Launch, the User-Base of Pfizer's Xeljanz for Rheumatoid Arthritis Has Nearly Doubled Since Three Months Post-Launch

However, the Low Number of Reported Average Initiations Among Xeljanz Users Suggests that U.S. Rheumatologists Are Still Trialing the Product in RA Patients, According to a New Report from BioTrends Research Group

Jul 25, 2013, 09:00 ET from BioTrends Research Group

EXTON, Pa., July 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that at six months post-launch, the user-base of Pfizer's Xeljanz—the newest treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA)—has nearly doubled, compared to previous research fielded three months post-launch. The six-month trial rate among rheumatologists is 61 percent compared to 32 percent three months ago. Although 61 percent of surveyed rheumatologists report trial of the product, users of Xeljanz have only initiated treatment in an average of six RA patients, with three-quarters of the user-base reporting initiation of Xeljanz in five or fewer patients. The LaunchTrends®: Xeljanz, Wave 3 (US) report also finds that surveyed rheumatologists anticipate these numbers will increase in the future.


"Based on the study data, Xeljanz trial rates are anticipated to increase to 72 percent in the next month," said BioTrends Research Group Associate Director of Immunology Lynn Price. "Furthermore, these physicians are expecting to initiate an additional three RA patients on Xeljanz in the next month, increasing both the user- and patient-base for Xeljanz."

According to the report, surveyed rheumatologists indicate that the majority of RA patients currently treated with Xeljanz have moderate-to-severe disease and have been switched from another agent, most commonly from an anti-TNF biologic. However, the percentage of Xeljanz patients who are biologic naive has significantly increased, with rheumatologists reporting approximately one-quarter of current Xeljanz patients as biologic-naive prior to initiation, significantly more than 13 percent reported at three months post-launch.

The recently published report also finds that over three-quarters of current Xeljanz users are moderately-to-highly satisfied with the product, generally citing that their high satisfaction is attributed to patients having an initial positive response, the drug's quick onset of action and patients experiencing little to no tolerability issues. Additionally, reported Xeljanz discontinuation rates are low, with approximately one in ten patients initiated on Xeljanz having to discontinue use. The most common reasons for Xeljanz discontinuation are patient request, tolerability issues and safety concerns.   

LaunchTrends®: Xeljanz, Wave 3 (US) is a four-wave syndicated report series designed to track the uptake of Xeljanz at one month, three months, six months and one year following its commercial availability based upon primary research with U.S. rheumatologists. LaunchTrends assess trial and use of new products, obstacles to use, reasons to use, typical patient types, line of therapy, product perceptions, promotional efforts/messages and product satisfaction. In the current wave of research, BioTrends surveyed 72 U.S. rheumatologists in May 2013 and conducted qualitative interviews with a subset of 15 of the respondents in May/June 2013.

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SOURCE BioTrends Research Group