Oral drugs gain on injectables in multiple sclerosis market, study finds

Injectables captured 70% of patients share in Q2 2013, compared with 80% in Q2 2012

BURLINGTON, Mass. — Use of injectable drugs for multiple sclerosis declined during the 12-month period that ended on June 30 as orally administered drugs for the condition became more popular, according to a new report.

Healthcare industry research firm Decision Resources found that injected disease-modifying drugs for MS, such as Teva's Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) and biotech drugs called interferon-betas, had a 70% share of the patient market in the second quarter of 2013, compared with 80% during the same period in 2012. A new drug made by Biogen Idec, Tecfidera, also captured a large portion of the patient population. Still, injectables captured 84% of patients undergoing first-line treatment.

"U.S. claims data confirm that time-tested injectables remain a core component of new MS treatment, overall and in treatment-naive patients, likely due in part to neurologists' conservative adoption of new agents," Decision Resources senior director Jonathan Searles said. "That said, with oral DMTs capturing nearly 18% total patient share in the second quarter among patients in our sample who were recently treated, and with the use of Tecfidera surging, we anticipate continued steady losses among current mainstays over the near term."


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