Biosimilars | Emerging Biosimilars | Oncology | Zarxio Wave 2 | US | 2016

LaunchTrends: Zarxio (Wave 2) is the second in a series of syndicated reports designed to track physician perception and uptake of Sandoz’s Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz), a biosimilar of Amgen’s Neupogen and the first biosimilar to launch in the United States.

The study surveys medical oncologists and hematology-oncologists in the United States and assesses the formulary coverage and restrictions associated with Zarxio and other products in the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) class. These reports evaluate physicians’ awareness and perception of Zarxio, uptake of the biosimilar over time, Zarxio’s effect on other G-CSFs, and promotional activity related to Zarxio and other G-CSF products.

Questions Answered:

  • Zarxio launched in the United States in September 2015. Are U.S. oncologists aware of the biosimilar and of how it was tested during clinical development?
  • Biosimilars are intended to share the clinical profile of the reference brand; therefore, a clinical benefit over the brand is not expected to be associated with their use. Why have physicians chosen to prescribe Zarxio or an alternative G-CSF?
  • Pharmacists in the United States are not permitted to substitute the reference brand Neupogen for Zarxio, because Zarxio was approved as a biosimilar, not an interchangeable biological product; thus, physicians must directly prescribe Zarxio for their patients to receive it. What promotional messages are sales representatives using for Zarxio and other G-CSF brands to influence physician prescribing?
  • Zarxio is the first biosimilar to launch in the United States. As such, the industry has no prior experience of how managed care organizations will incorporate Zarxio into formularies. Which formulary tier and what restrictions, if any, are being applied to Zarxio, and how does it compare with other G-CSFs?
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