Nearly Ninety Percent of Surveyed Neurologists Indicate They Will Prescribe Merck Serono/EMD Serono's Oral Cladribine for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Thursday, September 17, 2009 General News
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WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 9 Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, owing to its infrequent dosing and positive efficacy, nearly 90 percent of surveyed neurologists indicate they will prescribe Merck Serono/EMD Serono's oral cladribine for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

The new Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Multiple Sclerosis: How Will Clinician Attitudes and Reimbursement Issues Determine How Orals Will Compete with Current Disease-Modifying Drugs in this Dynamic Landscape? finds that the percentage of surveyed neurologists willing to prescribe oral cladribine is higher than the percentage willing to prescribe the emerging oral therapies Biogen Idec's BG-12 and Novartis/Mitsubishi Tanabe's FTY-720 (fingolimod).

The report also finds that emerging oral therapies will likely be prescribed most often to patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and as second-line therapies.

"Neurologists we surveyed indicate that oral cladribine, FTY-720, and BG-12 will each be prescribed to patients with any disease subtype but that these therapies will be preferentially prescribed to approximately one-quarter of patients with relapsing-remitting disease," said Decision Resources Analyst Bethany Kiernan, Ph.D. "This is likely due to these agents' ongoing clinical trials involving relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients. Additionally, surveyed neurologists will prescribe emerging oral therapies to about one-fifth of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients. Yet despite the similarities in projected prescribing patterns among these therapies, our findings indicate that oral cladribine will be favored over FTY-720 as well as BG-12, suggesting that clinicians have begun to differentiate these oral agents from one another."

The report also finds that the majority of surveyed MCO pharmacy directors will give emerging oral therapies non-preferred tier status on their commercial plans. More than half of surveyed MCOs expect to place oral cladribine, FTY-720 and BG-12 on tier 3 of their commercial plans' formularies. Surveyed pharmacy directors cite the high cost of these agents as the main reason for their non-preferred status. However, about one-quarter of surveyed pharmacy directors expect to place these therapies on tier 2 of their formularies, which is likely due to their perceived advantages in efficacy, safety, and/or convenience compared with current drugs.

Multiple Sclerosis: How Will Clinician Attitudes and Reimbursement Issues Determine How Orals Will Compete with Current Disease-Modifying Drugs in this Dynamic Landscape? is based on a U.S. survey of 102 neurologists and 20 MCO pharmacy directors. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic and scientific factors.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources ( is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets. Decision Resources is a Decision Resources, Inc. company.

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or

registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact: Decision Resources Decision Resources, Inc. Christopher Comfort Elizabeth Marshall 781-296-2597 781-296-2563

SOURCE Decision Resources

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