Novartis's Exelon Patch For Treatment Of Alzheimer's Disease Not Yet Widely Used
Novartis's Exelon patch, applied once daily for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, is not yet widely used by primary care physicians.
According to the new Physician and Payer Forum report entitled Alzheimer's Disease, Early-Stage Parkinson's Disease, and Restless Legs Syndrome: Will Agents That Offer Improvements in Compliance Achieve Reimbursement and Usage?, 65 percent of neurologists prescribe the patch for Alzheimer's disease, while only 36 percent of primary care physicians do so.
Formulary hurdles are a key obstacle to prescribers' use of new agents like the Exelon patch. Only 60 percent of managed care organizations cover the patch, although it is covered by 70 percent of surveyed Medicare prescription drug plans and has a slight edge in Medicare plans versus private plans. However, the Exelon patch still has strong potential to increase its prescription share by developing a new weekly formulation.
"Neurologists, primary care physicians and managed care organization pharmacy directors all favor weekly patches for moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease," said Kate Hohenberg, principal director at Decision Resources. "The reformulations to which managed care organizations are most likely to say they will grant favorable formulary status are weekly patch and rapid melt formations.
In the context of primary care physicians' high level of concern about the impact of cost on compliance, the cost of a weekly patch would need to be less than seven times that of the daily patch if it is to achieve widespread use among primary care physicians."
Alzheimer's Disease, Early-Stage Parkinson's Disease, and Restless Legs Syndrome: Will Agents That Offer Improvements in Compliance Achieve Reimbursement and Usage? is based on a U.S. survey of 70 primary care physicians, 72 neurologists and 20 managed care pharmacy directors. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic, and scientific factors.