Three months before Copaxone's US patents expire, the company is trying to switch patients to the larger dosage, three-time-a-week injection, from the daily injection, in an effort to reduce the damage from possible generic competition for the multiple sclerosis treatment. In January, the
RBC carried out two separate surveys of over 50 neurologists in the US, two weeks after
"We think the bigger concern should be how many patients who move to the three-time-a-week Copaxone would move back to a lower priced generic daily formulation. This is a risk that we think will get more attention and will leave some lingering uncertainty even in the event of a solid switch into generic approval. In our survey, physicians expected an average of 29% of patients who do ultimately switch to the branded three-time-a-week to switch back to a generic daily if one becomes available," says Stanicky. "This is a significant point, as many have assumed once a patient is on the 40mg, that patient will be sticky. We don't think this is the case and, in fact, think the number of patients who actually switch back could be much higher depending on how aggressive payors are."
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