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Melbourne, 30th September 2010 – Use of biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is set to increase dramatically over the next five years finds independent market analyst, Datamonitor.
Despite their considerable cost, rheumatologists interviewed by Datamonitor in the US, Europe and Japan expect a continued increase in the proportion of patients receiving biologic therapies by 2015. This is expected across all severity segments, including mild patients, where a highly aggressive treatment strategy undertaken by some rheumatologists, regardless of disease stage, will push up the numbers.
Tina Taylor, healthcare analyst at Datamonitor, comments: “Physician familiarity and experience, in addition to extensive efficacy and safety data have aided the increase in the use of biologics over the past five years.”
Datamonitor’s report suggests that biologics will be prescribed to 26% of mild patients by 2015, up from 12% in 2010. The moderate group is expected to rise from 30% to 48%, and in the severe patient category the anticipated rise will be from 50% to 68%.
Furthermore, non-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) biologics, such as Orencia (abatacept), Rituxan (rituximab) and Actemra (tocilizumab) are set to capture a substantial proportion of first- and second-line patients receiving biologics, as experts become more familiar with adopting these drugs much earlier in the treatment algorithm.
Tina adds: “Rheumatologists are estimating earlier application of non-TNF biologics by 2015. At first-line specifically, physicians we interviewed predicted an increase in the use of non-TNF biologics from 14% of patients in 2010 to potentially 36% by 2015, across the seven major markets.”