ROCHESTER, Mich., December 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – OptimizeRx Corp. (the “Company”) (Nasdaq: OPRX), a leading provider of point-of-care technology solutions to help patients start and continue treatment, releases survey results detailing factors influencing selection and the persistence of oncologist treatment in patients with anaplastic lymphoma positive non-small cell lung cancer (ALK + NSCLC), which occurs in only 5% of NSCLC patients with multiple first-line treatments approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The survey explores the dynamics of affordability, the support of pharmaceutical manufacturers, the challenges patients face in staying on treatment, and the reasons why patients may change or discontinue treatment.
The main challenges in treating ALK + NSCLC identified by oncologists include:
- Processing costs and limitations of insurance coverage
- Management of side effects or adverse events of treatment
- Poor patient adherence to medication
The survey results suggest several ways that pharmaceutical manufacturers can increase physician and patient support, including:
- Invest in financial support or patient support programs
- Educate oncologists and patients about available supports
- Increase the accessibility of field teams via digital channels
The results of the OptimizeRx survey shed light on the major treatment challenges faced by patients, physicians and pharmaceutical manufacturers in selecting, initiating and persisting therapies. Many patients with ALK + NSCLC change or stop treatment for reasons other than ineffectiveness and disease progression, including adverse events, cost, or poor adherence to treatment. This strongly suggests that better support for patients in managing the effects and costs of their treatment could considerably reduce the number of patients who stop or change treatment.
Doctors may be able to do more to help patients with ALK + NSCLC manage their treatment and disease, but they currently lack support and resources – in particular, expert advice on discussing treatment costs and treatments. financial support programs, as well as the management of side effects of new therapies. Creating and effectively deploying these resources could help pharmaceutical manufacturers carve out a niche for their brand in this competitive niche market.
As competing treatment options create more personalized choices for patients in specialty therapy spaces, pharmaceutical manufacturers must view increased patient and physician support as key elements of their competitive market strategy.
OptimizeRx’s survey provides insight into how pharmaceutical manufacturers in the ALK + NSCLC space can help patients start – and stay – on their therapy, which could be applied to other indications as well. competitive niche oncology or specialty therapeutic areas with similar market dynamics.
Nonclinical factors can also play an important role in treatment choices. Despite the clinical benefits of the new therapies, Pfizer’s Xalkori remains the top-rated drug by oncologists surveyed in several areas, with only Genentech’s Alecensa leading the way in financial and patient support programs. In direct comparisons of current first-line treatment options:
- Pfizer’s Xalkori was ranked as the best performer for the insurance approval process (61% of oncologists), oncologists’ experience with the drug (48% of oncologists) and team support in the field (48% of oncologists).
- Alecensa by Genentech was ranked the best performer in terms of financial support provided to patients (52% of oncologists).
- No brand was clearly the leader in patient adherence or support services, although Alecensa had a slight advantage (35% of oncologists).
Patients face multiple challenges in continuing to take first-line therapy for ALK + NSCLC, but surprisingly many switch to treatment for reasons other than ineffectiveness and disease progression – for example, due to adverse events (AEs), out-of-pocket expenses, or poor adherence to treatment. This strongly suggests that better support for patients in managing the effects and costs of their treatment could considerably reduce the number of patients who stop or change treatment.
- 44% of oncologists surveyed said that patient adherence is a significant issue.
- 75% of oncologists surveyed are likely to discuss treatment-related side effects, but only 51-52% consistently discuss patient support / financial assistance programs.
- 30% of oncologists surveyed believe that drug manufacturers do not provide effective support for the management of adverse events.
Oncologists surveyed reported that only 28% of their patients who switch to first-line therapy do so because of lack of efficacy / disease progression, while 54% have switched for reasons such as adverse events, cost or compliance:
- 20% changed due to adverse events / unacceptable toxicity
- 19% changed due to insurance issues or an inability to pay for treatment
- 15% changed due to poor compliance / adhesion
The survey results were taken from a survey of 25 senior US medical oncologists. Respondents noted that they spend on average more than 75% of their time in clinical practice and have more than 10 patients with ALK + NSCLC between them.
Full survey results can be downloaded at www.optimizerx.com/research-and-reports/nsclc
OptimizeRx is the leading healthcare technology company that enables care-driven engagement between life science organizations, healthcare providers, and patients at critical times throughout the patient care journey. Connecting more than 60% of U.S. healthcare providers and millions of their patients through a proprietary point-of-service network, connectivity is made easy with its Therapy initiation and persistence platform. This powerful platform of digital healthcare solutions is transforming the market and patient access with the life sciences market by unlocking:
- AI-driven real-time HCP marketing to raise awareness of treatment benefits to give patients a timely start to therapy
- Streamlined communication and processes around initiation of therapy to reduce dropout through streamlined enrollment
- Successful, personalized enrollment programs to help patients stay on their doctor-recommended treatment
For more information, follow the company on Twitter, LinkedIn or visit www.optimizerx.com.
Important Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements should not be used in making an investment decision. The words “estimate”, “possible” and “research” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which the statement was made. The company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified. Future events and actual results could differ materially from those stated, contemplated or underlying forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties to which forward-looking statements are subject include, but are not limited to, the effect of government regulations, competition and other material risks.
Andy D’Silva, Executive Vice President of Corporate Finance
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