Based on Available Data in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, Interviewed Thought Leaders Suggest that Lemtrada May Offer Advantages Over Copaxone on Effect on Physical Disability, According to a New Report from Decision Resources
March 20, 2013—Burlington, Mass. —Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that surveyed U.S. and European neurologists agree that a therapy’s effect on physical disability is the most influential attribute when making prescribing decisions for secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SP-MS)*. These same neurologists cite a therapy’s effect on quality of life as the second-most important attribute, ahead of an effect on relapses, imaging metrics and other functional domains.
Current management of SP-MS relies on the use of mainline disease-modifying therapies (which include interferon-betas and Teva’s Copaxone), most of which are approved broadly for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS. This category encompasses relapsing-remitting MS (RR-MS) and SP-MS patients who continue to experience relapses. Interviewed thought leaders suggest that, based on data in RR-MS, Genzyme/Sanofi/Bayer HealthCare’s Lemtrada may offer advantages over sales-leading Copaxone on measures of physical disability—potentially translating into clinical benefits for SP-MS patients.
“The neurologists we surveyed indicate that an improved effect on physical disability is one of the greatest unmet needs in SP-MS,” said Decision Resources Analyst Georgiana L. Kuhlmann, S.M. “Drawing on clinical data from RR-MS trials, interviewed thought leaders indicate that Lemtrada has demonstrated the potential to partially fulfill this unmet need.”
According to the DecisionBase 2013 report entitled On What Attributes Will Neurologists and Payers Differentiate Novel Therapies for Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis?, surveyed managed care organization (MCO) pharmacy directors are receptive to new SP-MS therapies that offer improvements over current therapies on disability progression, as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale. Nine out of ten MCO pharmacy directors report a moderate to high willingness to grant preferred formulary status to a new SP-MS therapy offering improvements on disability progression; payers appear less inclined to grant similar status to products with improvements in other areas, particularly delivery.
“In our survey, 65 percent of MCO pharmacy directors are willing to reimburse a hypothetical therapy for the treatment of SP-MS that offers once daily oral delivery,” Ms. Kuhlmann said. “However, additional study data suggest that improvements in delivery burden may be less likely than other achievements to translate into preferred formulary status.”
*SP-MS and primary-progressive MS (PP-MS) comprise the chronic-progressive MS (CP-MS) population.
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