As the number of FDA approved fibromyalgia therapies has grown, so has patient hope for relief from the ailment. A new report suggests that better training for internists, who are on the front lines of diagnosis and treatment, could help. Among primary care physicians who see at least 10 fibromyalgia patients per month, only 4% are comfortable diagnosing it after one visit, compared to over 40% of rheumatologists, according to a survey from Decision Resources which focused on the emerging category. According to Decision Resources, a focused effort on reducing the number of visits that an internist needs to diagnose fibromyalgia could accelerate prescriptions for first-line treatments.
IN FOCUS Off-patent Rx leads fibromyalgia category As the number of FDA- generics will decrease in the next approved fibromyalgia thera- Brand share by line of therapy two years, presumably as these pies has grown, so has patient First-line prescriptions for fibromyalgia among PCPs, rheumatologists physicians turn more frequently hope for relief from the ail- 40% to drugs with regulatory approv- 40 ment. however, the condition 35% 37% al in early lines of treatment. is still not well understood by 35 33% 33% 32% 32% 32% still, more education could the medical community overall, 30 help boost brand share. On whom hampering uptake of branded 25 should marketers target their 21% drugs approved for the disorder. educational efforts? Accord- 20 18% A new report suggests that bet- ing to Decision resources, a ter training for internists, who 15 focused effort on reducing the are on the front lines of diagno- 10 number of visits that an internist sis and treatment, could help. 5 needs to diagnose fibromyalgia the problem starts in the 0 could accelerate prescriptions exam room. Among primary Amitriptyline Cyclobenzaprine Cymblalta Lyrica Savella for first-line treatments. this is care physicians (PCPs) who see n= 76 PCPs n= 75 Rheumatologists one area where the numbers at least 10 fibromyalgia patients Source: Decision Resources are in pharma’s favor. though per month, only 4% are com- rheumatologists could benefit fortable diagnosing it after one from more education—45% of visit, compared to over 40% of patients in the care of PCPs take more likely to prescribe generics them need to see a patient two rheumatologists, according to a longer to receive their diagnosis, than branded drugs for patients times before feeling comfortable survey from Decision resources they likely must wait longer for with this condition. (Forest/ with a diagnosis—focusing detail which focused on the emerging drug treatment. Cypress bioscience’s savella efforts on the nation’s 4,600 category. “this underscores Confusion in
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