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Industry Updates : Jun 21, 2012
The Use of Biologics for Rheumatoid Arthritis in China is Limited to the Biosimilar Yi Sai Pu and Branded Etanercept, According to a Recent BioTrends Report
BioTrends Research Group, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, has published its first ever report on the use of biologic agents to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in China. Biologic agents to treat RA are not as widely used in China since most patients are required to initially pay for therapy before being reimbursed. Surveyed rheumatologists treat the majority of RA patients with older, less-expensive and generic agents versus biologics. When biologics are used, surveyed physicians report that over one-third of their severe RA patients are treated with a biologic agent. Just over 25 percent of their combined mild and moderate RA patients are treated with biologic therapy.
Etanercept is used as a branded biologic and as a biosimilar, and it is the only biosimilar currently approved for use in China. The biosimilar, CP Guojian’s Yi Sai Pu, is used on the majority (71 percent) of RA patients according to those surveyed rheumatologists prescribing biologic therapy, and is used as first line therapy half of the time. Wyeth’s Enbrel is used next and accounts for use in 13 percent of RA patients, and along with other biologic agents, is mostly prescribed second line.
“China presents an interesting dynamic for rheumatoid arthritis,” said BioTrends Immunology Therapeutic Class Director Paul Zimmerman. “Despite having the world’s largest population, RA prevalence in China is currently one of the lowest in the world. As China’s population continues to grow, it will be interesting to monitor RA prevalent cases and in turn, the impact on biologics.”
Although their condition is more severe, those patients currently taking a biologic agent show less signs and progression of structural damage and are very satisfied with their treatment compared to ‘biologic eligible’ patients. Biologic eligible patients are those patients meeting the clinical criteria for biologic treatment but are not being treated with biologics. Additionally, biologic patients have a higher socioeconomic status and better quality of life and functional status compared to biologic eligible patients.
ChartTrends®: Biologics in Rheumatoid Arthritis (China) surveyed 204 rheumatologists in China and asked them to complete patient audits for their last six RA patients seen by them in the past year. In total there were over 1200 RA patient charts reviewed and analyzed in this report, with 900 patients currently taking a biologic, and the remaining 300 are biologic eligible.
About BioTrends Research Group
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