Market Access Issues Hindering Specialists’ Use of Advanced Systemics in Lupus Nephritis

According to Spherix Global Insights, US Rheumatologists are taking increasing ownership over lupus nephritis (LN) patient management, yet they are more likely than nephrologists to express frustrations with payers’ restriction of LN drugs.

Exton, Pennsylvania, July 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While the approvals of GSK’s Benlysta (belimumab) and Aurinia’s Lupkynis (voclosporin) have provided rheumatologists and nephrologists with additional options to treat lupus nephritis (LN) patients, specialists now highlight payer policies and access issues as key barriers to use.

Concerningly, prescribers estimate that one-quarter of LN patients are receiving suboptimal treatment due to poor insurance coverage and most specialists express concern about patients with high-deductible plans self-restricting from accessing treatment. Physicians often prescribe alternative treatment options to their LN patients because of high out-of-pocket costs or denied prior authorizations (PA). In fact, many physicians say they will prescribe the agent with the lowest threat of PA denial, regardless of if it is the most appropriate treatment option.

Rheumatologists and nephrologists are both frustrated with the PA process, managed care hassles, and out-of-pocket costs associated with the recently approved LN drugs. Research from Spherix’s Q2 2023 RealTime Dynamix™: Lupus Nephritis (US) service finds rheumatologists more likely than nephrologists to feel payers are becoming more aggressive in limiting and restricting access to LN products – something which strongly influences their use of these products.

This is of high note given that perceived ownership of both Benlysta and Lupkynis prescribing in co-management scenarios is trending in the direction of rheumatology over the past four waves of research, with rheumatologists generally driving overall prescribing of both approved LN drugs. Rheumatologists also commonly mention coverage or cost as the main reasons to prescribe a generic calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) like tacrolimus over a novel CNI like Lupkynis.

Specialists predict that new LN treatment options like AstraZeneca’s Saphnelo (anifrolumab), Roche-Genentech’s Gazyva (obinutuzumab), Horizon’s daxdilimab, Kezar Life Sciences’ zetomipzomib, and Novartis’ Cosentyx (secukinumab) and ianalumab will play key roles in LN treatment if approved. It will be critical for pipeline manufacturers to develop access strategies with payers to ameliorate patient access issues in what is likely to become an increasingly crowded market.

Spherix has been tracking the lupus nephritis market quarterly since 2019, prior to the approvals of Benlysta and Lupkynis, to help subscribed clients navigate the rapidly evolving LN market landscape and better understand complicated patient management patterns.

About RealTime Dynamix™:

RealTime Dynamix™ is an independent service providing strategic guidance through quarterly or semiannual reports, which include market trending and a fresh infusion of event-driven and variable content with each wave. The reports provide an unbiased view of the competitive landscape within rapidly evolving specialty markets, fueled by robust HCP primary research and our in-house team of experts.

About Spherix Global Insights

Spherix Global Insights is a leading provider of market research, business intelligence and advisory services to the global life sciences industry. The company’s unique service offerings are powered by deep therapeutic knowledge, the Spherix Network specialty physician panel, and commercially relevant analyses to enable strategic decision-making by our valued customers.

A trusted advisor and industry thought leader, Spherix Global Insights provides specialized market expertise in six (6) focused therapeutic areas including: dermatology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, rheumatology and ophthalmology.

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NOTICE: All company, brand or product names in this press release are trademarks of their respective holders. The findings and opinions expressed within are based on Spherix Global Insight’s analysis and do not imply a relationship with or endorsement by any company, brand, or product aforementioned.


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