Dupixent Delivers… and Sanofi-Regeneron Ushers in a New Era of Atopic Dermatitis (AD) Treatment

According to Spherix Global Insights, at just one month post-launch, nearly one-third of surveyed dermatologists (n=101) have prescribed Dupixent, although for some a burdensome reimbursement process is slowing the time from prescription to fulfillment.

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EXTON, Pa., May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — According to the latest RealTime Dynamix™: Atopic Dermatitis report, just one month after the launch of Dupixent, the uptake appears to be robust. About a third of the survey respondents have prescribed the drug and roughly half of the non-users expect to get on board quickly. However, representative contact rates leave something to be desired, as many dermatologists report waiting to be detailed on the newest entrant—and rep visits matter. Significantly more physicians who have seen a Dupixent representative have prescribed the drug compared to those who have not been detailed. Furthermore, those who have been detailed are significantly more familiar and comfortable with Dupixent than their counterparts who have not been called on. Representative contact rates in the past month are lower than those of Pfizer and AbbVie, but comparable to other major players in the dermatology space. However, with Dupixent being a brand new biologic with no alternate indications, as well as the first-in-class for AD, it is imperative that Sanofi-Regeneron ramp up their dermatology presence.

It has been reported from Regeneron that an estimated 3,500 scripts for Dupixent have been written. Despite the multitude of scripts for the only approved AD biologic, dermatologists report that 43% of all their Dupixent patients are still pending insurance approval and that only 47% of all prior authorizations completed for Dupixent have been approved. Indeed, two-thirds of current users and just under half of all non-users cite insurance coverage as a barrier to Dupixent use. Furthermore, one-in-five note that Dupixent’s greatest disadvantage is the associated insurance coverage issues, while 40% note the cost is too high, despite the sentiment held by many in the industry that the cost was lower than expected.

Other recent shifts in the AD market come in the form of the continued expansion of the user and patient-base for Pfizer’s Eucrisa (crisaborole), which gained FDA approval in December 2016. Since the prior quarter, the percent of dermatologists actively prescribing Eucrisa increased significantly, but like all new drugs, insurance woes and out of pocket costs limit the patient pool. Furthermore, many dermatologists are not sold on the efficacy of this new PDE4 inhibitor and its topical formulation is met with limited enthusiasm.

Despite the new additions to the AD armamentarium in 2017, dermatologists still acknowledge the high unmet need for additional pharmacologic treatments. Indeed, most dermatologists agree on the need for new biologic agents for the treatment of AD; however, if given the choice, nearly two-thirds believe their patients would prefer an oral small molecule over a SC injected biologic. With several JAK inhibitors under investigation for AD, including AbbVie’s upadacitinib (ABT-494), Lilly/Incyte’s Olumiant (baricitinib), and Pfizer’s Xeljanz (tofacitinib), options that satisfy the patient preference for an oral small molecule may soon be a reality.

The survey results were collected between May 5 and 11, 2017.

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About Spherix Global Insights
Spherix Global Insights is a business intelligence and market research company, specializing in renal, autoimmune, neurologic and rare disease markets. Our aim is to apply our commercial experience and unique relationships within core specialty markets to translate data into insight, enabling our clients to make smarter business decisions.

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