Sunday, 23 December 2012

Use of new liver cancer drug sorafenib doubles

Use of Nexavar (sorafenib, from Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals) has nearly doubled in first-line advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients in China in 2012 from 2011, according to new findings.
“Nexavar quickly became the standard of care for HCC in Western markets when it was first approved five years ago; however, Chinese physicians have historically relied on 5-FU-based regimens,” said Neesha Suvarna, a consultant with Kantar Health, adding: “Our most recent physician survey data shows that Nexavar adoption is increasing in China. While the utilization of Nexavar in HCC is smaller in China compared with the West, the growth trend we observe suggests that there is a high potential for growth.”
In addition, Kantar Health’s research found that use of Alimta (pemetrexed, from Eli Lilly is gradually increasing in non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients in China since its approval in 2011. Also gaining in use are EGFR biomarker testing and EGFR-targeting agents, such as Tarceva (erlotinib, Genentech/Roche/Astellas) and Iressa (gefitinib, AstraZeneca) in Chinese patients who are EGFR-mutant.
Chinese doctors slowly adopting Western treatment practices
“China has traditionally faced a drug approval and adoption lag, and our recent data suggests that Chinese physicians are slowly adopting Western treatment practices,” said Dr Suvarna, adding: “There are multiple barriers to adoption, including the high price of agents and lack of reimbursement. However, support from patient access programs, increasing patient education and availability of cheaper drugs or generics might all play a role in slowly revolutionizing treatment practices in China.”
Source: Pharma Letter

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