An analysis of primary research conducted with 232 U.S. neurologists
reveals three key segments of physicians who treat multiple sclerosis (MS) patients,
differentiated by the clinical and commercial attributes that drive their
prescribing behavior. Understanding the demographic, practice-based, and
behavioral preferences among these physician segments will help brand teams
with current and emerging agents identify areas of opportunity to promote brand
In 2010, sales of drugs for MS will surpass $5 billion in
the United States, with sales of Teva’s Copaxone and drugs from the recombinant
interferon-beta class accounting for 88% of the market. Despite advances in the
treatment of MS, significant commercial opportunity remains for new therapies that
offer improvements in efficacy, safety, and/or convenience. The entrance of
five new oral therapies by 2013 will be a key driver of growth in the MS
market, although all of these agents have drawbacks in efficacy and/or safety.
Primary segmentation research identifies the key physician segments that will
most likely adopt emerging MS agents and offers insights into positioning
emerging brands among established competitors based on the attributes that
drive physicians’ MS brand choice.
The Brand Perception Series: Physician Segmentation in
Multiple Sclerosis presents a granular analysis of the current MS brand
landscape using primary survey data from 232 U.S. neurologists. Based on the
derived importance of 16 drug attributes, the report identifies three key
physician groups, each populated with individuals who have like-minded
prescribing attitudes, and examines the factors that drive brand satisfaction,
loyalty, and use across unique physician segments to help brand teams build
targeted campaigns that achieve maximum return.
Questions Answered in This Report:
Key Opportunities in Physician Segments:
- We expect five oral agents to be approved for MS by 2013.
The two agents competing to be first to market are Novartis/Mitsubishi Tanabe’s
FTY-720 (fingolimod, Gilenia) and Merck Serono/EMD Serono’s oral cladribine.
The three other oral therapies are Biogen Idec’s BG-12, Teva/Active Biotech’s
laquinimod, and Sanofi-Aventis’s teriflunomide. Which emerging oral agent
has garnered the most physician awareness? What percentage of physicians plans
to prescribe each of these emerging agents, if approved? What are the specific
demographic and behavioral characteristics of the physician segments that are most
likely to prescribe each oral agent? What is the profile of the typical MS
patient who will receive each oral agent?
- Genzyme/Bayer HealthCare/Bayer Schering’s
alemtuzumab demonstrated robust efficacy in Phase II MS trials, although it was
associated with severe side effects. Do physicians believe there is a need
for additional monoclonal antibody therapies, despite the severe safety risks
associated with Biogen Idec/Elan’s Tysabri? Which segment of physicians is most
likely to consider alemtuzumab’s convenient once-yearly dosing for patients who
desire a different dosing schedule? Which segment will be most wary of
alemtuzumab’s severe side-effect profile?
Perceptions of Current and Emerging Brands:
- Survey results show Biogen Idec’s Avonex is the top current brand
for familiarity-driven physicians. Which group of physicians has the best
overall perception of other drugs in the recombinant interferon-beta class—Bayer
Schering/Bayer HealthCare’s Betaseron, Merck Serono/EMD Serono/Pfizer’s Rebif,
and Novartis’s Extavia? On what clinical
and commercial attributes do neurologists differentiate the recombinant interferon-beta
therapies currently on the market?
- Survey data indicate that Copaxone is the top-of-mind brand
for safety among surveyed physicians. Which physician segment has the most
favorable overall perception of Copaxone? With which brand attributes are
physicians most satisfied and dissatisfied? What specific attributes differentiate
Copaxone from the recombinant interferon-betas?
Primary Physician Research: Quantitative results from
our survey of 232 U.S. neurologists.
Surveyed physicians have been in practice a minimum of two years. Surveyed neurologists
treat an average of 50 patients per month (with a minimum of 15 MS patients per
month). Physician survey collection dates: May 4 to May 9, 2010.
Key Brands Included in the Surveys and Analysis: Avonex,
Betaseron, Copaxone, Extavia, Rebif, mitoxantrone, and Tysabri.
Key Emerging Agents Included in the Survey and Analysis:
Alemtuzumab, BG-12, Facet Biotech/Abbott Laboratories/Biogen Idec’s daclizumab,
FTY-720, laquinimod, oral cladribine, Biogen Idec’s pegylated
interferon-beta-1a, and teriflunomide.