BURLINGTON, Mass., April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that surveyed neurologists in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom (EU5) project that 16 percent of their diagnosed relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) patients on average will receive Biogen Idec's Tecfidera within the next year, which is slightly higher than the 13 percent share they ascribe for Sanofi/Genzyme's Aubagio. In a survey fielded until February 2014, respondents indicated that future prescribing of both first-line-eligible oral disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) will be most encouraged through greater familiarity, improved access/reimbursement, or additional data supporting use.
Market access hurdles for Aubagio: Authorities in France and Germany recently ruled that Aubagio offered no added benefit over current DMTs, complicating pricing negotiations. In advance of the final ruling, more than half of surveyed German neurologists expected the benefit assessment would have at least some negative impact on their prescribing of the drug.
Most-effective market access lever: Demonstration of clinical superiority head-to-head versus a comparator—ideally the standard of care at the appropriate position in the MS treatment algorithm—constitutes the strongest market access lever to garner optimal pricing and reimbursement terms for emerging DMTs across the EU5. Interviewed payers roundly condemn placebo-controlled data that force indirect comparisons to current treatment options.
Biosimilar interferon-betas and generic glatiramer acetate: Generally, less than half of survey respondents are confident that interferon-beta biosimilars, or generic versions of Teva's Copaxone, would be comparable to the original products, but no more than half indicated strong reservations about prescribing them.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst John Crowley, Ph.D.:
"The long-lasting efficacy of Lemtrada (Sanofi/Genzyme/Bayer HealthCare)—and the potential for long-term cost savings—helped the drug to recently secure reimbursement in the United Kingdom, without the need for a patient access scheme, which are increasingly the norm in that market. This exemplifies the unanimous message from interviewed payers that standout head-to-head efficacy is the surest means of securing optimal pricing and reimbursement in the EU5."
"Regional autonomy exists in the federal healthcare model in Italy and Spain, in prescribing budget variation in Germany, and the United Kingdom's 'postcode lottery.' Over 40 percent of surveyed neurologists in these markets project some negative impact of regional variation on patient access to emerging MS DMTs, if approved. Clear communication to local payers of a new MS therapy's cost-effectiveness will be critical to uptake."
Media members are welcome to attend our upcoming webinar based on this report entitled Multiple Sclerosis in the EU5: How Are Physicians and Payers Responding to Aubagio, Lemtrada and Tecfidera? This presentation will be held on Thursday, May 15, 2014. For more information, please contact Christopher Comfort at [email protected].
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