Osteoarthritis | Treatment Algorithms | Claims Data Analysis | US | 2014

With more than 32 million people in the United States diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA), it is the most common type of arthritis and a leading cause of disability. Among the symptoms characteristic of OA, pain is experienced by the majority of OA patients and thus has become a prominent therapeutic target for drug development. Indeed, OA pain represents the second largest segment of the chronic pain market. The OA pain market is expected to grow over the next ten years, driven by the aging population and increased prevalence of obesity; however, a truly novel therapy has not emerged for this indication in over 15 years. A successful launch of a new therapy for OA pain requires a deep understanding of current treatment patterns in a market replete with generic and OTC products. While nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioid analgesics dominate the OA pain market, high unmet need still exists for therapies lacking the severe gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and abuse risks associated with the current standard of care. Over the past few years, branded therapies have launched in the OA pain market, providing incremental safety, tolerability, and/or dosing benefits to overcome the drawbacks of the NSAIDs and opioid analgesics—but how have these agents fared in this highly generic market? Using national patient-level claims data, this report analyzes patient share for these new agents in OA patients who have been newly diagnosed as well as longitudinal data in OA patients treated within the last three months of our two-year study period. The report also analyzes the degree of polypharmacy in these patient populations as well as compliance and persistency rates. Among newly diagnosed patients, this report provides a quantitative analysis of treatment patterns and share by line of therapy, as well as the progression between lines, the durations of treatment on each line, polypharmacy rates, and the most widely used drug combinations. 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 brand.

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