Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects more than two million people in the United States, with prevalence estimated to increase over the next five years, imparting a substantial burden on patients, caregivers, and the healthcare system. Treatment for cognitive symptoms is limited to two drug classes (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors [AChEIs] and NDMA receptor antagonists) that deliver modest efficacy and do not impact the underlying course of the disease, and for behavioral symptoms physicians must rely on off-label drugs (antidepressants, antipsychotics) that can pose tolerability challenges and/or significant risk for elderly patients.
Using national patient-level claims data, this report analyzes physician adherence to the treatment guidelines by exploring the use of key therapies in the newly diagnosed and recently treated AD patient populations. Considering 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. With respect to 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 brand.