Advair's Patient Share In Newly Diagnosed Asthma Patients Declines

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that patient share for GlaxoSmithKline's Advair is declining in all lines of therapy for newly diagnosed asthma patients.

The new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Asthma shows a reduction in Advair use in first-, second- and third-lines of therapy to 12.2 percent, 13.6 percent, and 14.6 percent, respectively when compared to the 2007 analysis that showed Advair was prescribed in 13.9 percent, 19.3 percent and 16.5 percent of first-, second- and third-line patients, respectively.

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The decline in Advair's patient share is due to several factors: physicians' (particularly primary care physicians [PCPs]) increasing use of Merck's Singulair first-line, pushing Advair to later lines of therapy; specialists favoring newer once-daily inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) with more favorable side-effect profiles in patients with less-severe disease prior to progressing to a long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA)/ICS combination; and physician movement towards using AstraZeneca's newly launched Symbicort as an alternative to Advair in later lines of therapy.

The report also finds that surveyed physicians will continue to use Singulair first-line regardless of March 2008 media reports linking the drug to behavior/mood changes and suicidality (suicidal thinking and behavior).

"The majority of pulmonologists, allergists and PCPs we surveyed told us that these media reports have had no effect on their treatment practice," added Dr. Westphal. "However, more surveyed allergists and PCPs told us that in the next two years they are likely to monitor their Singulair patients with increased vigilance, which likely reflects their treatment of a higher percentage of patients under the age of 18 compared with surveyed pulmonologists."

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