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Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patients Show Interest in New Oral Therapies, According to Study by GfK HealthCare

Posted Oct 14 2010 4:43pm
BLUE BELL, Pa.--( BUSINESS WIRE )--Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) patients have been anticipating the availability of new oral therapies being developed to treat their specific condition. Among the string of oral therapies entering the market is Novartis’ Gilenya, which recently became available for use following receipt of FDA approval in late September. One-third of MS patients are aware the new oral agents are under development and there is substantial interest within this group to seek further information through physicians and other sources, according to new research by GfK HealthCare. This syndicated research study will serve as the baseline for a continuous tracking study that will enable pharmaceutical manufacturers to monitor the changing dynamics of the MS market, from the perspective of both patients and physicians, on an ongoing basis.

According to the patient study, one in three RRMS patients participating in the research was aware – on an unaided basis – that oral drugs are being developed. Interest in the oral drugs appears high among patients who are aware of the new therapies, as more than half had discussed the products with their physician. In addition, when asked where their information on the new therapies is coming from, the top sources cited by aware patients were physicians and health organization websites (both 48 percent) followed by online MS communities (40 percent).

GfK HealthCare’s study also revealed that awareness of the new oral therapies among patients not using a Disease Modifying Therapy (DMT) may lead these patients to have discussions with physicians about the initiation of a DMT. Among patients who are users of current injection or infusion DMTs, awareness of the new oral drugs is not showing an impact on DMT satisfaction levels at this time.

“With the recent launch of Gilenya, it will be critical to track changes in brand loyalty as patients gain more knowledge about these new MS therapies,” said Louise Gillis, associate vice president, research, GfK HealthCare. “Our Continuous Tracker service offers the optimal means for clients to monitor critical patient metrics in this dynamic market.”

MS Patients Provide Continuous Insights Into the Changing MS Market

The baseline report reflects the insights from 200 doctor-diagnosed Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) patients, fielded via Internet questionnaire in late July 2010. After the launch of Gilenya, GfK HealthCare’s Multiple Sclerosis Patient Continuous Tracker will provide an analysis of the changing dynamics of the MS market. The continuous tracking feature enables clients to tap data related to major or minor market events when they need it. GfK also offers a similar MS Continuous Tracker covering the physician perspective.

About GfK HealthCare

GfK HealthCare ( ) is the largest provider of fully integrated custom health care marketing research in the world. With the broadest range of custom and syndicated research offerings as well as innovative proprietary approaches to meet a product’s needs across its life cycle, GfK HealthCare offers flexible marketing research resources, responsive to clients’ evolving challenges. GfK HealthCare is part of the Custom Research sector within the GfK Group ( ), which offers the fundamental knowledge that industry, retailers, services companies and the media need to make market decisions. It delivers a comprehensive range of information and consultancy services in the three business sectors Custom Research, Retail and Technology and Media. The No. 4 market research organization worldwide operates in more than 100 countries and employs over 10,000 staff. In 2009, the GfK Group’s sales amounted to EUR 1.16 billion.

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