Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Lone "Wolf" Descends -- Declares Telaprevir the Presumptive Winner

A long-time lurking friend to this space, "Wolf", lopes down from above timberline, and offers what I regard as spot on analysis of the boceprevir v. telaprevir relative commercial success debate, thus (from our comment box):

. . . .The necessity to use EPO in many boceprevir treated patients not only complicates the therapy but significantly and unnecessarily increases the cost of therapy. In most Western countries, majority of HCV is treated by community-based gastroenterologists which do not typically use EPO in their clinical practice.

One must also remember that the use of EPO to control boceprevir and/or ribavirin-induced anemia is an OFF LABEL use of EPO (the last time I looked) which further complicates both access and treatment. I suspect most community-based physicians would be reluctant to undertake this liability especially given the likely availability of telaprevir which is not plagued with this issue.

Barring a catastrophic event or major Vertex blunder, its looking more and more likely that Vertex will emerge the winner post-commercialization.


April 29, 2011 11:44 PM. . . .

Exactly. Our thanks go out again, to Wolf. It seems that once the immediate launch gyrations settle into recurring prescribing trends, we'll see Vertex with about 75 percent to 80 percent US market share, and the balance -- some 20 to 25 percent -- in New Merck's coffers.

Once again, a disappointing legacy Schering-Plough "also ran" outcome, thanks to Fred.


Anonymous said...

Telaprevir will look good to each hepatologist until they get their first patient with a Grade 3 rash. Then they will tell patients I can give you one Rx that has a higher risk of anemia (for which I can give you epo), or another treatment that has a 20% chance of causing a
mild to severe rash - which do you want? I wouldn't handicap the market share war so fast....

Condor said...

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Namaste -- and thanks for stopping by.

[Nota Bene: I'll be off-the-grid until Sunday -- late-night.]