Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the chronic pain drug market will experience modest four percent annual growth from 2008 to 2018 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan. Although the market will increase over the next decade, generic erosion will constrain sales of key branded agents such as Johnson & Johnson's Topamax (topiramate) and Pfizer's Celebrex (celecoxib).

The new Pharmacor report entitled Chronic Pain finds that the entry of generic topiramate in the U.S. in 2009 and the entry of generic celecoxib in the U.S. and Europe in 2014 will significantly reduce sales of Topamax and Celebrex through 2018. In 2008, combined sales of these two agents accounted for 17 percent of the chronic pain market--in 2018, combined sales of Topamax and Celebrex will account for five percent of the total market, according to the report.

Beginning in 2012 in the U.S. and Europe, the launch of the first biologic agent for pain, Pfizer's tanezumab, will be the greatest contributor to market growth. Tanezumab's sales will be driven by its use in treatment-resistant chronic back pain and arthritic pain. The report also finds that, in 2018, novel drug classes will account for 12 percent of the chronic pain market and sales of novel agents will erode the market shares of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), COX-2 inhibitors and opioids. However, opioid analgesics will continue to hold the leading market share in this market despite Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) mandated by the Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to occur by 2013.

"The market for chronic pain therapies is saturated with well-established but only partially-effective treatments," said Decision Resources Analyst Sandra Chow, M.Sc. "Focusing on near-term opportunity, most drug developers in this space are working to reformulate current therapies to make them more tolerable or convenient. An even greater opportunity exists for novel therapies that offer efficacy advantages over current drugs."

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