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Avandia Withdrawals Increase and Accelerate after Reports of Potential Cardiovascular Risk, According to TNS Healthcare

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 6, 2007 - New research from TNS Healthcare's DiabetesDynamics USA(TM) shows that from July through September of 2007 nearly 70% of changes in Avandia prescribing were the result of withdrawals--physicians switching patients to another therapy. In addition, the rate of withdrawals is accelerating, with as many withdrawals in third quarter '07 alone as in the first and second quarters combined.

"Avandia prescribing has always been dynamic, with our research showing that, during the first half of 2007, 20% of physician consultations resulted in some kind of therapy change," says Philip O'Hagan, International Client Services Director for TNS Healthcare. "From January through June, 84% of those prescribing changes were positive--physicians starting new patients on Avandia, adding it to existing regimens or switching patients to Avandia from other therapies. From July forward, however, we see a dramatic turnaround, with the majority of Avandia changes now coming from doctors taking patients off the drug."

Fear about Cardiovascular Risk Is the Key Driver of Avandia Prescribing Changes

DiabetesDynamics reveals that one of the main reasons physicians are switching patients from Avandia is reports that the drug is linked with increased cardiovascular risks. During the first half of 2007, there were no cases of switching due to cardiac problems, though there were the first rumblings that publicity about side effects was beginning to have an effect. During the third quarter of the year, however, there was a massive change, with cardiac problems now the reason for 20% of Avandia withdrawals.

"Clearly, reports of Avandia being linked to increased cardiovascular risk are having a huge impact on prescribing decisions," says O'Hagan. "The market upheaval is likely to continue and grow, as negative news hits about other diabetes drugs--such as the recent withdrawal of Exubera and concerns over Byetta's potential link to acute pancreatitis. Over the next several months, we will be using DiabetesDynamics to monitor closely what happens to patients pulled off Avandia or other treatments...which therapies are serving as replacements and why...and how recent media reports have affected other drugs and classes."

DiabetesDynamics Tracks Therapy Changes

TNS Healthcare's findings on diabetes prescribing changes are drawn from DiabetesDynamics--its quarterly resource for tracking therapy changes and the causative factors behind them in the type 2 diabetes market. DiabetesDynamics samples only type-2 diabetes patients who have experienced some type of treatment change in their last consultation. It focuses on monitoring market dynamics, including prescribing initiations, switches, add-ins, dosage changes and withdrawals, as well as the impact of new launches, competitive activity or other market events.

About TNS Healthcare...

TNS Healthcare provides market research consulting to the worldwide pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries, as well as health-focused ad agencies, media and analysts. It offers globally consistent solutions and custom advisory services to support product introductions; brand, treatment and sales performance optimization; and physician and DTC promotional assessment.

Informing decisions across the life cycle, TNS Healthcare offers action-ready insights for prelaunch landscaping, market and opportunity assessment, segmentation, positioning, message and campaign creation, pricing, forecasting, attitude and awareness measurement and postlaunch tracking. It delivers information across stakeholders--including physicians, patients and consumers--to help companies anticipate and impact customers' behaviors. TNS Healthcare provides both qualitative and quantitative offerings, using traditional and on-line methodologies, combining worldwide reach with local expertise.

About TNS...

TNS is a global market insight and information group. Our strategic goal is to be recognised as the global leader in delivering value-added information and insights that help our clients to make more effective decisions. As industry thought leaders, our people deliver innovative thinking and excellent service to global organisations and local clients worldwide. We work in partnership with our clients, meeting their needs for high-quality information, analysis and foresight across our network of over 70 countries. We are the world's foremost provider of custom research and analysis, combining in-depth industry sector understanding with world-class expertise in the areas of Retail and Shopper Insights, Stakeholder Management, New Product Development, and Brand and Communications. We are a major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and internet, TV and radio audience measurement services.

TNS is the sixth sense of business.

For More Information...

For more information on DiabetesDyamics, please contact Philip O'Hagan at +44 1372 825622 or Philip.O' To learn more about TNS Healthcare, please visit our Web site at or contact Ilene Siegalovsky, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at 201-836-0040, ext. 225 or


Peppercom Inc.
Beth Starkin, 212-931-6108
TNS Healthcare
Ilene Siegalovsky, 201-291-2697
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Posted: November 2007