Restrictions on Reimbursement Will Constrain the Market for Skin and Soft Tissue Infection Drugs

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Decision Resources, Inc., a research and advisory firm focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that formulary and reimbursement committees will continue to restrict the majority of high-priced drugs for the treatment of skin and soft tissue infections to second- or third-line use because of the availability of equally efficacious generic drugs that can be first-line options.

Most emerging therapies are effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), said Jason LaBonte, analyst at Decision Resources. However, these premium-priced products will be held in reserve behind the less expensive drug vancomycin, though Pfizers Zyvox will continue to gain market share thanks to its oral formulation.

The new Pharmacor study entitled Skin and Soft Tissue Infections also finds that Wyeths tigecycline will be a popular choice for the polymicrobial infections that dominate diabetic ulcers as well as a good empiric drug choice for patients that may be at risk for MRSA infection.

No Clear Definition for Skin and Soft Tissue Infections Exists

Experts say that no consensus definition for skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) exists. Rather, they believe that SSTI is an umbrella category that comprises several individual diagnoses, including cellulitis, abscesses, gangrene, necrotizing fasciitis, mastitis, and infected diabetic ulcers. Experts believe that a complicated infection is most clearly identified by its need for hospitalization, whereas uncomplicated SSTIs are treated in the community by primary care physicians.

Source: Decision Resources