Simvastatin Leads Pfizer's Lipitor in Second-Line Patient Share for the Treatment of Dyslipidemia

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 General News
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WALTHAM, Mass., May 13 Decision Resources, one of theworld's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcareissues, finds that simvastatin (Merck's Zocor, generics) leads Pfizer'sLipitor in second-line patient share -- 22.9 percent versus 14.7 percent. Mostpatients progressing to simvastatin do so after switching from Lipitor.Surveyed primary care physicians and cardiologists cite simvastatin's betterreimbursement and formulary status as the primary reason to prescribesimvastatin instead of Lipitor. Nevertheless, despite the availability ofgeneric statins, more than 75 percent of Lipitor's prescriptions stem fromfirst-line therapy.

The report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Dyslipidemia also finds that,prior to the release of the ENHANCE trial results, Merck/Schering-Plough'sVytorin and AstraZeneca's Crestor also gained significant second-line patientshares-13.1 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively. These gains reflectphysicians' efforts to boost efficacy in patients whose initial low-densitylipoprotein (LDL) lowering treatment had been less than optimal; surveyedphysicians perceive these agents to offer the best LDL-reducing ability.However, 47 percent of surveyed primary care physicians and 49 percent ofsurveyed cardiologists have changed their prescribing of Merck/Schering-Plough's Zetia and Vytorin because of data from the ENHANCE trial, whichshowed that the addition of Zetia to simvastatin treatment did notsignificantly change carotid artery thickness. The majority of surveyedphysicians now prescribe Vytorin and Zetia in fewer new patients, with asmaller percentage of physicians switching patients off of these drugs.

"Cardiologists we surveyed expect to decrease their first- and second-lineprescriptions for Vytorin between 2008 and 2010, and to increase their third-line use of the drug in the same time period." said Madhuri Borde, Ph.D.,analyst at Decision Resources. "However, fewer surveyed primary carephysicians anticipate lower use of Vytorin in first- and second-line therapyover the next two years."

About Treatment Algorithm Insight Series

Decision Resources combines in-depth primary research with the mostextensive claims-based longitudinal patient-level data from PharMetrics(R) toprovide exceptional insight into physicians' prescribing trends and thefactors that drive therapy product choice, from diagnosis through multiplecourses of treatment, for a specific disease.

For each disease examined, Decision Resources' Treatment Algorithm InsightSeries provide the following:

About Decision Resources

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

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may betrademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.-- Summary of U.S. medical practice based on interviews with leading experts in the field. -- Qualitative diagnosis/referral/treatment algorithm for the United States. -- Drug usage by lines of therapy (1st, 2nd, 3rd line). -- Discussion of key freeform combinations by lines of therapy. -- Product share (class and specific compound level) within each line of therapy (1st, 2nd, 3rd line). -- Progression of therapy from key 1st line products. -- Pathway to key therapies from previous therapies. -- Qualitative analysis of two-year forecast incorporating upcoming launches, changes in reimbursement, etc.

SOURCE Decision Resources

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