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A Recent Study by ITG's Majestic Market Research Indicates a Strong Launch for Gilenya in Spite of Its Time-Consuming Initiation Process
Date:6/1/2011

NEW YORK, June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A study published this week by ITG's Majestic Market Research revealed that Novartis' recently approved drug, Gilenya, continues to steal share from market leaders in the multiple sclerosis (MS) market, and uptake is expected to increase significantly over the next year.  Gilenya came onto the market in late September 2010 as the first FDA-approved oral disease-modifying MS drug.  Despite negative sentiment around Gilenya's lengthy initiation process, neurologists are embracing the new drug at an impressive rate.  Real time data from ITG's proprietary physician panel indicate that Gilenya was the disease-modifying treatment of choice for 20% of new written MS prescriptions in April.  Furthermore, surveyed neurologists indicated that their prescribing of Gilenya will increase significantly over the course of 2011 as they continue to shift inadequate responders from other MS therapies to the new drug.

The study takes an in-depth look at how Gilenya's multi-step initiation process is impacting neurologists' use of the drug.  According to neurologists, new treatment starts for Gilenya typically take between three to six weeks and involve the scheduling and organization of prescreening tests and ongoing monitoring for adverse events.  

Physicians reported that Novartis plays an important role in facilitating these steps. In fact, 63% of Gilenya prescribers indicated that they receive support from Novartis during this process, and 25% of them classified this assistance as superior to what competing companies offer for their products.  

By comparison, neurologists appear unable to get over similar concerns about Acorda Therapeutics' Ampyra, which was launched in March 2010 as the first FDA approved drug to improve walking in MS patients. Like Gilenya, Ampyra is associated with an onerous initi
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