Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the recent approval of Pfizer's Lyrica (pregabalin) to treat fibromyalgia and the entry of several new drugs over the next decade will drive the fibromyalgia drug market to nearly quadruple and reach $2 billion in 2016
The new Pharmacor report Fibromyalgia finds that the market to treat the disease, which drug companies have only recently begun to tap, mostly for secondary indications, will continue to be characterized by polytherapy; most patients will be prescribed combinations of antidepressants, analgesics, and/or sedative hypnotics. If approved for fibromyalgia, drugs that will be used in combination therapy to treat the disorder will include Eli Lilly's Cymbalta, Cypress/Forest's milnacipran, Wyeth's desvenlafaxine, Pfizer's Neurontin, Schwarz's lacosamide, and Sepracor's Lunesta.
The report finds that, although the market to treat fibromyalgia in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Japan will flourish in the next decade, the limited efficacy and tolerability of treatments will constrain the overall sales of most drugs.
"Fibromyalgia is very difficult to treat, and its symptoms -- which can include musculoskeletal pain, depression, and sleep dysfunction -- vary widely from patient to patient," said Kate Hohenberg, director at Decision Resources. "Even the leading new drugs for fibromyalgia will have drawbacks in efficacy and tolerability, and, as a result, there is still a large opportunity for drug developers."
More than 14 million people in the world's major pharmaceutical markets suffer from fibromyalgia, a syndrome of chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain with accompanying functional and sleep disorders. The vast majority of current cases are not diagnosed or treated by a physician, and even those who do receive drug therapy experience only modest relief from available agents.
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