April 11, 2016
Relypsa’s Veltassa Does Not Disappoint as Trial Increases Among US Nephrologists
At three months post-launch, close to half of US nephrologists have prescribed Veltassa and the vast majority intend to increase their use in the near term, according to Spherix Global Insights, GmbH
April 11, 2016 – Zug, Switzerland A recent survey conducted by Spherix Global Insights with 102 US nephrologists in late March 2016 indicates a strong upward trajectory for Veltassa. This represents the third wave of research since launch, building upon feedback from over 300 nephrologists in clinical practice.
Nephrologists estimate that Veltassa is an option for more than one-third of their patients presenting with hyperkalemia, with outpatient use for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients the most likely source of business. Trial rates in hyperkalemic CKD patients have increased from 18% in January to 27% in February and to 46% most recently with the average number of patients also increasing.
Sales representatives are the leading vehicle for expanding awareness of Veltassa and messaging has shifted from the basic clinical trial and product label overview to include discussions about specific patient types and assistance with navigating the reimbursement landscape. Among the physicians who report using Veltassa, slightly more than half have used the VeltassaKonnect™ program and appear to be satisfied with the service.
The launch is not without challenges, however. A lack of familiarity still prevails among those who have yet to use the product with 33% of nephrologists reporting no contact yet with the Veltassa sales representative. The leading disadvantages of Veltassa include the six-hour dose separation requirement, which decreases the eligible patient pool, as well as cost and access issues. Nephrologists report that, for more than one-third of the patients on Veltassa, it takes a week or more for the patient to receive the drug through specialty pharmacy. A potential competitor, AstraZeneca’s ZS-9, could be available as early as May which presents both an opportunity to expand awareness of a new treatment approach to hyperkalemia and a threat as the two companies face-off in this competitive environment.
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.