Scleroderma (Systemic Sclerosis) | Current Treatment: Physician Insights | US | 2021

Scleroderma / systemic sclerosis (SSc) is characterized by progressive vasculopathy, progressive fibrosis, and autoimmunity. While disease severity and symptoms are heterogeneous, in general, limited cutaneous SSc (lcSSc) has more dermatologic and vascular effects, diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc) has additional systemic impacts, and other forms may have organ involvement but lack the dermatological hallmarks. Treatment predominately involves drug classes that are highly genericized: ACE inhibitors for renal disease, CCBs and ERAs for vasculopathies, and immunosuppressants to target autoimmunity, for example. However, branded therapies that target difficult-to-treat and potentially fatal SSc manifestations have expanded treatment options; Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ofev and Roche / Genentech’s Esbriet are used for interstitial lung disease, and Bayer HealthCare’s Adempas is used for pulmonary arterial hypertension. This study analyzes the responses of surveyed rheumatologists to gain insight into the reasons behind their treatment decisions; we also compare the practices of Ofev prescribers and nonprescribers to determine the factors that correlate with the drug’s use.


  • What portion of lcSSc, dcSSc, and other SSc patients receive drug therapy and with what drugs / classes? How long do patients stay on a therapy? What do they switch to when they discontinue?
  • What are the preferred agents, by line of therapy, within drug classes used to treat SSc? What reasons do rheumatologists give for their preferences?
  • Why do some physicians prefer Ofev as an early-line, or later-line, therapy? What are the notable differences in treatment practice between Ofev prescribers and nonprescribers?
  • How has the use of key therapies for SSc changed over the past year? What changes do physicians expect in the use of these drugs in the coming year?


Current Treatment: Physician Insights provides physician insights on treatment dynamics, prescribing behavior, and drivers of brand use so that marketers can create specific messaging around these treatment dynamics to more effectively increase or defend their market position.

Markets covered: United States

Key companies: Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, Genentech, Bayer HealthCare

Key drugs: Ofev, Adempas, Esbriet, select biologics, immunosuppressants, PDE-5 inhibitors, ERAs, prostacyclin analogues

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