WALTHAM, Mass. -- Decision Resources, Inc., a research and advisory firm for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that patients without insurance who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare are less than half as likely as patients with private insurance to undergo treatment for hepatitis C. Patients reliant upon Medicaid or Medicare are also less likely to undergo treatment than patients with private health insurance.
The new PhysicianForum report entitled Hepatitis C: Are We on the Verge of a Paradigm Shift? Focus on How New Antivirals Will Be Integrated into Medical Practice, also finds that the amount of hepatitis C patients a doctor has affects the treatment process.
"Clinicians with a low hepatitis C patient load appear to be undertreating the disease," said Mary Fletcher-Louis, analyst at Decision Resources. "Clinicians who have a high hepatitis C case load (more than 50 patients per month) say they treat 52 percent of hepatitis C patients at the time of initial diagnosis. The corresponding estimate by clinicians with a lower case load is only 40 percent of patients."
New Paradigm Shift?
Surveyed clinicians say emerging oral polymerase and protease inhibitors have the potential to convert the hepatitis C market from fixed duration therapy to a maintenance therapy paradigm, following the HIV model. At least 40 percent of surveyed clinicians expect to use emerging oral polymerase or protease inhibitors as maintenance therapy. To achieve this usage, emerging agents will need to prove efficacy in long-term suppression of viral load. Because the largest segment of the treated population is aged only 40-60 years, achieving clinician acceptance of long-term maintenance therapy will have huge commercial significance.
PhysicianForum is a primary research service from Decision Resources that offers access to high volume-prescribing physicians, specialists, and managed care organization representatives in the United States; analysis of events and survey participants' responses to them; insight into prescribing patterns; and an examination of the implications of events and issues for the pharmaceutical market.
Hepatitis C: Are We on the Verge of a Paradigm Shift? Focus on How New Antivirals Will Be Integrated into Medical Practice is based on a U.S. survey of 20 managed care pharmacy directors, 102 gastroenterologists, and 33 hepatologists. Their responses were compared to assess similarities and differences of opinion regarding clinical, economic, and scientific factors.
Source: Decision Resources, Inc.