1. Market Research

Physician Views: Revisiting Pfizer’s Xeljanz – is the oral revolution gaining traction in rheumatoid arthritis?

  • November 2013
  • Firstword Pharma
Report ID: 1911250


Table of Contents


Just over a year ago – and buoyed by recent FDA approval – expectations for Pfizer's rheumatoid arthritis treatment Xeljanz (tofacitinib) were suitably high. The drug – an oral alternative to injectable biologic therapies with a comparative efficacy and safety profile – was widely expected to help spearhead Pfizer's post-Lipitor growth expectations.

Consensus expectations in November of last year pointed to full-year sales of around $315 million for Xeljanz in 2013. Based on its current quarterly run-rate, analysts now expect the franchise to generate revenue of about $123 million.

Failure of Xeljanz to gain approval in Europe (see ViewPoints: Key opinion leader casts doubt as to whether Pfizer's Xeljanz will ever secure European approval) is a contributing factor to this downgraded commercial outlook, but in the US market, Pfizer's product has simply not gained the anticipated traction among physicians, despite its oral availability.

This trend says as much about the entrenched competition – particularly AbbVie's Humira, Johnson & Johnson's Remicade and Amgen/Pfizer's Enbrel – as it does about Xeljanz. During Q3, these three biologics were the industry's biggest selling products, generating sales of $2.9 billion, $2.5 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively. In 2012, these three franchises delivered combined global sales of around $28 billion.

The sheer size of revenues generated within the autoimmune space is one reason why Xeljanz is still expected to achieve blockbuster status by 2017 (a similar outlook was referenced last week by one analyst towards Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' biologic sarilumab, which could achieve peak sales of around $1 billion despite being largely differentiated from existing competition). However, gaining market share at the expense of these long-established products has taken longer than anticipated.

Pfizer management has conceded that uptake of Xeljanz needs to increase if the product is to deliver on (presumably revised) expectations. The company initiated a US direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing campaign at the beginning of the summer and hopes to gain approval for a revised label from the FDA in February to reflect Xeljanz's ability to inhibit progression of structural disease.

Reasons to Buy This Report

FirstWord polled US-based rheumatologists in May to ascertain how physicians were utilising Xeljanz and this week's Physician Views poll partly acts as a follow-up. Specifically, this week's poll will ask US-based rheumatologists:

• To what percentage of rheumatoid arthritis patients they have now prescribed Xeljanz?
• Where they are typically using the drug in the treatment paradigm?
• How awareness of the drug has increased over the past 6 months?
• How significant a role the oral availability of Xeljanz holds in the eyes of patients?
• Whether potential new labelling for Xeljanz (possibly secured in February 2014) will impact usage?

Get Industry Insights. Simply.

  • Latest reports & slideshows with insights from top research analysts
  • 60 Million searchable statistics with tables, figures & datasets
  • More than 25,000 trusted sources
  • Single User License — provides access to the report by one individual.
  • Department License — allows you to share the report with up to 5 users
  • Site License — allows the report to be shared amongst all employees in a defined country
  • Corporate License — allows for complete access, globally.

Amrita helps you find the right report:


The research specialist advised us on the best content for our needs and provided a great report and follow-up, thanks very much we shall look at ReportLinker in the future.

Kate Merrick

Global Marketing Manager at
Eurotherm by Schneider Electric

We were impressed with the support that ReportLinker’s research specialists’ team provided. The report we purchased was useful and provided exactly what we want.

Category Manager at

ReportLinker gave access to reliable and useful data while avoiding dispersing resources and spending too much time on unnecessary research.

Executive Director at
PwC Advisory

The customer service was fast, responsive, and 100% professional in all my dealings (...) If we have more research needs, I'll certainly prioritize working with ReportLinker!

Scott Griffith

Vice President Marketing at
Maurice Sporting Goods

The research specialist provided prompt, helpful instructions for accessing ReportLinker's product. He also followed up to make sure everything went smoothly and to ensure an easy transition to the next stage of my research

Jessica P Huffman

Research Associate at
American Transportation Research Institute

Excellent customer service. Very responsive and fast.

Director, Corporate Strategy at

I reached out to ReportLinker for a detailed market study on the Air Treatment industry. The quality of the report, the research specialist’s willingness to solve my queries exceeded my expectations. I would definitely recommend ReportLinker for in-depth industry information.

Mariana Mendoza

Global Platform Senior Manager at
Whirlpool Corporation

Thanks! I like what you've provided and will certainly come back if I need to do further research works.

Bee Hin Png

CEO at
LDR Pte Ltd

The research specialist advised us on the best content for our needs and provided a great report and follow-up, thanks very much we shall look at ReportLinker in the future.

Kate Merrick

Global Marketing Manager at
Eurotherm by Schneider Electric


Reportlinker.com © Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

ReportLinker simplifies how Analysts and Decision Makers get industry data for their business.