Survey Says Most Endocrinologists and Physicians See a Need for More Byetta and Januvia-Type Drugs

High percentages of endocrinologists, primary care physicians, and managed care organizations surveyed by a research firm say they would like to see additional GLP-1 analogues like Amylin/Eli Lilly’s Byetta® and DPP-IV inhibitors like Merck’s Januvia® available to treat type 2 diabetes.

The survey, “A Clinician and Payer Perspective on Changing Dynamics in the Diabetes Market: Is There Room for New GLP-1 Analogues or DPP-IV Inhibitors?,” published by Waltham, Mass.-based Decision Resources, queried 77 primary care physicians, 72 endocrinologists, and 20 pharmacy directors of managed care organizations:

Regarding new GLP-1 analogues, 89 percent of the endocrinologists, 77 percent of the primary care physicians, and 75 percent of MCO pharmacy directors said they would like to have additional therapies available in that category.

Regarding DPP-IV therapies, 71 percent of the endocrinologists, 74 percent of the primary care physicians, and 70 percent of MCO pharmacy directors said they would like to see additional therapies offered in that category.

In explaining their answers, survey respondents indicated their concerns with Byetta and Januvia. They cited the need for frequent injections with Byetta (twice daily*) and its record of causing severe nausea in some patients. With Januvia, their concerns were with the drug’s inability to lower glucose levels as well as the conventional diabetes drug metformin, and questions about its long-term safety.

The criteria respondents cited for adding new GLP-1 therapies included a less frequent need for injections and a lessening of nausea-producing effects. With DPP-IV therapies, they said that an increased ability to lower BG levels would favorably influence their decision to stock or prescribe new drugs in that category.

* A long-range version of Byetta, injected once weekly, is now under review by the FDA. The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-aventis is currently conducting trials on its own version of exenatide, the generic form of Byetta.