Spherix Global Insights

April 21, 2016

Pfizer’s Newly Approved Once-Daily Xeljanz XR Is Unlikely To Expand Overall Brand Use According To The Latest Rheumatology Report

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A recent survey conducted by Spherix Global Insights with U.S. rheumatologists (n=96) in February indicates that despite increased dosing options for Pfizer’s Xeljanz, most physicians do not anticipate their overall use of the JAK inhibitor to change. Though 28% foresee that the QD dosing option may increase their use of Xeljanz, 17% anticipate no impact at all, while 55% of respondents believe that the only impact will be switching current Xeljanz patients from BID to QD dosing.

RealTime Dynamix, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Q1 also reveals that over half of the surveyed rheumatologists report that increasing their use of Xeljanz for their RA patients is plagued by insurance and cost issues; specifically, insurance plans not covering use, and general out of pocket costs for patients. Other noted barriers for increased Xeljanz use revolve around physician concern over long-term safety and efficacy.

As expected, the report also reveals that the majority of surveyed US rheumatologists believe that payer policies encourage use of the established sub-cutaneous anti-TNF agents, AbbVie’s Humira and Amgen’s Enbrel. However, with the recent FDA approval of Pfizer’s infliximab biosimilar, Inflectra, and other biosimilars in the RA pipeline, we can expect future shifts in the influence of payer policy on RA prescribing. Indeed, nearly two-thirds of rheumatologists agree that, “payers will pressure me to prescribe more biosimilar products than I would choose myself.”

Though payer policy continues to be a primary factor in brand selection for RA treatments, payer influence only plays a minor role in switching biologic/JAK brands. According to data from the soon-to-be published RealWorld Dynamix™ Biologic and Xeljanz switching in Rheumatoid Arthritis, cost, insurance, and reimbursement issues were the primary driver of switching biologics/JAKS in only 5% of recent switches. Further RA biologic and JAK brand switching dynamics are covered in depth in the RealWorld Dynamix report, which evaluates the de-identified medical records of nearly 1,000 RA patients recently switched from one biologic agent/JAK to a different brand.

About Spherix Global Insights
Spherix Global Insights is a newly established business intelligence and market research company. We specialize in renal, autoimmune, neurologic and rare disease markets.  Our aim is to apply our commercial experience and unique relationships within core specialty markets to translate data into insight, enabling our clients to make smarter business decisions.

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