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A churning fibromyalgia medication market reflects unmet needs for majority of patients

  [ 8 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • April 7, 2011

If anyone in the fibromyalgia was unaware of it, data from a recent survey report by BioTrends Research Group* suggest that a majority of U.S. fibro patients currently taking a prescription medication for their symptoms don't feel the drugs help enough, and have “higher expectations.”

Overall, more than two-thirds would be somewhat or very likely to switch to some new drug that offered improvement over their current therapy in treating pain, fatigue, and/or sleep, problems, says analyst Andrea Buurma.

The data also suggest that patients now taking an FDA approved FM drug tend to be less “well-established” on their drugs than those on off-label drugs.

Only 40% of those now taking one of the three approved drugs (Cymbalta, Lyrica, and Savella), and about 50% of those taking off-label drugs say they're “very unlikely” to ask their doctors if they can try a switch in the next 12 months.

“This indicates there is a significant opportunity for emerging novel agents,” Buurma observes.

* PatientTrends™: Fibromyalgia is a yearly report that investigates patients’ attitudes, perceptions and behavior regarding their disease, with a focus on the patient’s path to diagnosis and their perception of their interaction with their physician. The report looks at what drives patients’ satisfaction with their current fibromyalgia treatment and identifies which drug attributes are most likely to prompt a patient to request a switch to an emerging treatment. This report is based on a survey fielded in January and February of 2011 with 500 U.S. patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Source: BioTrends Research Group ( news release, Mar 30, 2011.

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