BURLINGTON, Mass., April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that Mallinckrodt's (formerly Cadence Pharmaceuticals') Ofirmev, the only parenteral formulation of acetaminophen to have reached the U.S. pain market, enjoys notable use among surveyed surgeons and anesthesiologists, as well as widespread coverage (albeit with restrictions) in the majority of surveyed hospital pharmacy directors' formularies. Surveyed physicians and hospital pharmacy directors cite the agent's efficacy in reducing postoperative opioid consumption as the most important attribute driving prescribing and coverage, respectively. Nevertheless, despite their satisfaction with Ofirmev's opioid-sparing effects, physicians and pharmacy directors continue to report that reducing postoperative opioid consumption and lowering the incidence of opioid-related adverse events remain two of the greatest areas of unmet need in postoperative pain treatment.
Anesthesiologists play a significant role in formulary recommendations and decisions; thus, this physician type represents an important target for drug developers' marketing efforts.
Early-line acute postoperative pain treatment continues to be largely dominated by inexpensive, generically-available therapies, in part because branded pain therapies are more frequently subject to formulary restrictions or are excluded from hospital formularies.
In the hospital setting, pharmacoeconomic data—including cost-efficacy analysis and, especially, comparator trials against the current standards of care—are critical to securing formulary coverage for branded, premium priced postoperative pain therapies.
A new product that reduces patients' length of hospital stay would fulfill a critical unmet need in postoperative pain treatment and would likely attain hospital formulary inclusion.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Andrea Buurma:
"Surveyed physicians would welcome new pain therapies, such as Durect's Posidur, a long-acting bupivacaine injection, into their postoperative pain treatment armamentarium; however, their likelihood to prescribe/administer emerging therapies and their expected use of these products across select procedures will be largely dependent on formulary coverage."
"Perhaps not surprisingly, surveyed hospital pharmacy directors indicate that cost is the primary non-efficacy factor that has and will continue to drive formulary decisions; formulary inclusion may prove challenging if novel pain therapies are priced notably greater than currently available agents in their respective drug classes. However, clinical trial data that clearly demonstrate cost-benefit advantages such as reduction in hospital readmissions for pain, shorter length of stay, or reduction in overall costs to the hospital can be leveraged to secure more favorable formulary coverage."
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