Survey Finds Cardiologists View Crestor as Comparable to Lipitor


November 24, 2010

November 24, 2010 – Cardiologists and primary care physicians now perceive AstraZeneca's Crestor as comparable to Pfizer’s Lipitor in treating and reducing mortality in dyslipidemia patients, according to a survey by Decision Resources.

This finding has changed from Decision Resources' 2009 analysis in which surveyed cardiologists viewed Lipitor as significantly better.

According to Treatment Algorithms in Dyslipidemia, patient share for Crestor has increased to 10.6 percent in the first line, 17.5 percent in second line and is the most-prescribed drug in the third line with 22.9 percent share. The results of the JUPITER trial, which were reported in November 2008, have improved physician perception of Crestor's mortality benefits. Additionally, other drivers include advantages in efficacy as well as fallout from Merck's Zetia and Vytorin, which have received negative publicity from two clinical trials.

"Crestor has overtaken Lipitor in many cases as the second-line treatment of choice, often following first-line simvastatin," said Taskin Ahmed, an analyst at Decision Resources. "However, this trend may be reversed once generic Lipitor becomes available. Despite physicians acknowledging some advantages of Crestor over Lipitor, cost is a tipping point for many physicians who will use less of the higher-priced Crestor. In response, AstraZeneca will need to do more to convince physicians about the benefits of Crestor ahead of Lipitor's patent loss. The company may get the ammunition it needs if results are positive from the head-to-head Crestor versus Lipitor SATURN trial on atherosclerosis, which will report next year."

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