Although NeurogesX/Astellas’s Qutenza is Only Approved for Postherpetic Neuralgia, Surveyed U.S. Physicians are Likely to Prescribe It for All Neuropathic Pain Types
BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ — Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, although NeurogesX/Astellas’s Qutenza is only approved for postherpetic neuralgia, surveyed U.S. physicians are likely to prescribe the drug for all neuropathic pain types. When asked to assume that patients suffering from other forms of neuropathic pain would be reimbursed for the cost of Qutenza treatment, 43 percent of clinicians indicate that they are very likely to use the drug for neuropathic cancer pain, 42 percent said they are very likely to use it for painful diabetic neuropathy and 38 percent said they are very likely to use it for neuropathic back pain.
The new U.S. Physician & Payer Forum report entitled Clinician and Payer Attitudes to Novel Therapies for Neuropathic Pain: How Much Will Cost and other Differentiating Features Influence Use of New Therapies? finds that surveyed clinicians estimate that 44 percent of their use of Qutenza has been for patients with postherpetic neuralgia while only 17 percent indicate that their use of Qutenza was strictly for this patient population.
The report also finds that physicians intending to prescribe Ortho-McNeil’s Nucynta will do so for all forms of neuropathic pain, regardless of physician specialty. PCPs, neurologists and pain specialists expect that between 22 and 26 percent of Nucynta prescriptions will be for patients with neuropathic back pain. PCPs, neurologists and pain specialists also expect that between 16 and 28 percent of Nucynta prescriptions will be for patients with painful diabetic neuropathy.
The survey findings also reveal that PCPs and neurologists prescribe Pfizer’s Neurontin much more frequently than Pfizer’s Lyrica–both antiepileptic dugs–whereas pain specialists use Lyrica more frequently than Neurontin.
“Seventy-one percent of surveyed PCPs and 61 percent of pain specialists prescribe Neurontin more frequently than Lyrica,” said Decision Resources Analyst Sami Fam, Ph.D. “However, nearly half of surveyed pain specialists indicate that they prescribe Lyrica more frequently than Neurontin while only 38 percent of pain specialists prescribe Neurontin more frequently than Lyrica.”
The report also finds that, among key emerging brands for the treatment of neuropathic pain, Pfizer’s Tanezumab is at the greatest risk of not being reimbursed, according to surveyed managed care organizations (MCOs). Nearly one-half of surveyed MCOs indicated that they are unlikely to reimburse tanezumab. This response may be attributed to the drug’s expected high cost and its emerging safety concerns.
The report is based on a U.S. survey of 50 pain specialists, 52 primary care physicians, 54 neurologists and 20 MCO pharmacy directors.
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