Alzheimer’s Disease | Treatment Algorithms | Claims Data Analysis | US | 2014

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most common neurological conditions in the elderly and imparts considerable strain on worldwide healthcare resources. For the estimated 2 million people in the United States who have AD, procognitive therapy is limited to four symptomatic agents (e.g., donepezil [Eisai/Pfizer’s Aricept, other brands, generics]) that deliver modest efficacy of limited duration on cognitive deficits and do not impact the underlying course of the disease. Polypharmacy is common in AD and typically increases over time as physicians seek to alleviate cognitive and other comorbid (e.g., behavioral) symptoms with off-label treatments. Using national patient-level claims data, this report analyzes clinical practice and physician adherence to the treatment guidelines by exploring the use of key therapies in the newly diagnosed and recently treated AD patient populations. Among the newly diagnosed patients, the report provides a quantitative analysis of treatment patterns and share by line of therapy, as well as progression between lines, duration of treatment on each line, and use of concomitant treatment. Among recently treated patients, the report quantifies a drug’s source of business compared with its competitors and details which drugs precede others through an analysis of add-versus-switch patterns. Additional analyses explore persistency and compliance by therapy.

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