Sixty-One Percent Of Newly Diagnosed Parkinson's Patients Do Not Receive Drug Treatment

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Parkinson's Disease

About 61 percent of newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease patients do not receive any drug treatment in the first year of diagnosis.

According to the new report entitled Treatment Algorithms for Parkinson's Disease, failure of newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease patients to receive pharmacological treatment within the first 12 months of diagnosis likely occurs as a result of patients' decisions to delay treatment until symptoms become sufficiently troublesome. Furthermore, because the guidelines of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) do not define specific time periods for when treatment should be initiated, patients may be reluctant to begin levodopa therapy, such as with Bristol Myers Squibb's Sinemet, knowing that side-effects will arise, specifically motor response complications.

Levodopa provides greater motor benefit than dopamine agonists, such as GlaxoSmithKline's Requip or Boehringer Ingelheim's Mirapex, but inevitably results in the development of levopoda-induced side effects, including dyskinesias, off time (sudden motor switches between normal and Parkinson movements) and wearing-off complications (shortened periods of benefit after each levodopa use).

"Levodopa continues to be the gold-standard Parkinson's disease treatment, with 99% of neurologists and 95% of PCPs we surveyed currently prescribing it in their Parkinson's disease practice," said Nicole Westphal, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "However, first-line levodopa use will decrease over the next two years as physicians increasingly use levodopa-sparing approaches. Patient demand for well-tolerated, levodopa-sparing treatments will continue to drive increases in dopamine agonist patient share first line. Patients will benefit from the introduction of new agents, including new formulations and line extensions within the dopamine agonist class. However, GlaxoSmithKline's Requip will face generic competition in 2008, so the overall market for dopamine agonists will begin to diminish, despite the launch of new agents in this class."

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

For each disease examined, Decision Resources' Treatment Algorithms Insight Series provides:

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-- 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 2-year forecast incorporating upcoming launches, changes in reimbursement, etc.

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