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Reimbursement Intelligence: Oral Small Molecules for RA Face High Price-Sensitivity Hurdles

March 20, 2012 - Madison, NJ

Reimbursement Intelligence, the New Jersey-based market research firm helping biopharma, medical device and diagnostics firms succeed in managed markets, announced the launch of the 2012 Rheumatology Insight Service, a subscription-based market research based on parallel surveys of 100 rheumatologists and 50 payers, which will be continuously updated throughout 2012.

The study, quoted in this morning's Pharmalot, "Yielded some important customer insights," said Rhonda Greenapple, CEO of RI. "One key finding is that the new, oral small molecules for RA are not necessarily a slam-dunk for either payers or rheumatologists."

Greenapple continued, "There was no clear, natural positioning for these agents in RA therapy. Payers and rheumatologists considered them part of the same 'class' as RA biologics, and that where they would be used was highly dependent on cost. Their views varied substantially based on different pricing scenarios."

"We think the message for manufacturers is clear," said Greenapple. "If the manufacturers of novel agents for RA -- including the oral small molecules -- don't clearly position these products in customers' minds, customers, especially payers, will do it for them."

Adoption of these agents will be further challenged by the trend toward shifting of specialty pharmaceuticals to a Tier 4 with higher out-of-pocket costs. Said Greenapple, "Some rheumatologists told us they thought patients will start asking about the new oral small molecules as soon as they're available. The big question is whether they're going to be willing to pay several hundred dollars per month for these medications. Manufacturers have to focus on messaging for three different customer segments -- rheumatologists, payers, and patients. It will take a compelling patient value proposition to motivate patients to start and stay on these new medications."

About the Rheumatology Insight Service

The Rheumatology Insight Service is the first of a new series of category-specific Reimbursement Insight subscription services available only from Reimbursement Intelligence. The core component of the Rheumatology Insight Service is the 2012 Rheumatology Reimbursement Report, featuring more than 50 pages of carefully crafted findings, with thought-provoking commentary from RI's panel of RA category experts. Subscribers to the survey will receive three quarterly updates, periodic event-driven updates, and access to customized sub-analyses of specific customers segments, based on subscriber-requested criteria.

For additional information about the 2012 Rheumatology Insight Service and for all other inquiries, please click here: 2012 Rheumatology Insight Service

Rhonda Greenapple
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