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Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2014 May 7;7(5):530-44. doi: 10.3390/ph7050530.

Barriers to the Access and Use of Rituximab in Patients with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: A Physician Survey.

Author information

  • 1MercyHealth-ClinXus LLC, 260 Jefferson St., Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA. wbaerclinxus@mercyhealth.com.
  • 2Broward Health Medical Center, 1625 SE 3rd Ave. #525, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA. amaini@browardhealth.org.
  • 3Pfizer Inc., 235 East 42nd St., New York, NY 10017, USA. ira.jacobs@pfizer.com.

Abstract

Biologics such as rituximab are an important component of oncology treatment strategies, although access to such therapies is challenging in countries with limited resources. This study examined access to rituximab and identified potential barriers to its use in the United States, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, and Brazil. The study also examined whether availability of a biosimilar to rituximab would improve access to, and use of, rituximab. Overall, 450 hematologists and oncologists completed a survey examining their use of rituximab in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Less than 40% of physicians considered rituximab as easy to access from a cost perspective. Furthermore, many physicians chose not to treat, were unable to treat, or had to modify treatment with rituximab despite guidelines recommending its use in NHL and CLL patients. Insurance coverage, reimbursement, and cost to patient were commonly reported as barriers to the use of rituximab. Across all markets, over half of physicians reported that they would increase use of rituximab if a biosimilar was available. We conclude that rituximab use would increase across all therapy types and markets if a biosimilar was available, although a biosimilar would have the greatest impact in Brazil, Mexico, and Russia.

PMID:
24810947
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC4035768
Free PMC Article
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