Need for more medicines like Byetta and Januvia

Survey finds increased need for more medicines like Byetta and Januvia

Initially reported in July 2009, a survey, “A Clinician and Payer Perspective on Changing Dynamics in the Diabetes Market: Is There Room for New GLP-1 Analogues or DPP-IV Inhibitors?,” published by Waltham, Mass.-based Decision Resources, queried 77 primary care physicians, 72 endocrinologists, and 20 pharmacy directors of managed care organizations.

High percentages of endocrinologists, primary care physicians, and managed care organizations surveyed by a research firm say they would like to see additional GLP-1 analogues like Amylin/Eli Lilly’s Byetta and DPP-IV inhibitors like Merck’s Januvia available to treat type 2 diabetes.

Regarding new GLP-1 analogues, 89% of the endocrinologists, 77% of the primary care physicians, and 75% of MCO pharmacy directors said they would like to have additional therapies available in that category.

Regarding DPP-IV therapies, 71% of the endocrinologists, 74% of the primary care physicians, and 70% of MCO pharmacy directors said they would like to see additional therapies offered in that category.

In explaining their answers, survey respondents indicated their concerns with Byetta and Januvia. They cited the need for frequent injections with Byetta (twice daily*) and its record of causing severe nausea in some patients. With Januvia, their concerns were with the drug’s inability to lower glucose levels as well as the conventional diabetes drug metformin, and questions about its long-term safety.

The criteria respondents cited for adding new GLP-1 therapies included a less frequent need for injections and a lessening of nausea-producing effects. With DPP-IV therapies, they said that an increased ability to lower BG levels would favorably influence their decision to stock or prescribe new drugs in that category.

* A long-range version of Byetta, injected once weekly, is now under review by the FDA. The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis is currently conducting trials on its own version of exenatide, the generic form of Byetta.

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