Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, despite the anticipated approval of only one disease-modifying therapy over the next decade, the market for disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs will experience exponential growth, increasing from $477 million in 2007 to nearly $3.8 billion in 2017.
The new Pharmacor report entitled Osteoarthritis: Disease-Modifying Therapies, finds that, following its anticipated approval in 2011, the uptake of Servier's Protelos, as well as off-label use of Novartis/Nordic Bioscience/Emisphere Technologies' SMC-021 for its disease-modifying potential, will drive the tremendous growth of the osteoarthritis drug market through 2017. Market growth will also be fueled by increasing prevalence of osteoarthritis and an increase in drug-treatment rates in the United States and Europe as patients switch from over-the-counter agents with unproven efficacy to new prescription drugs that promise to slow structural progression and improve symptoms of the disease. According to the report, there are 37 million patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.
The report finds that, owing to the need for disease-modifying drugs, significant opportunity remains for developers of osteoarthritis drugs. Additionally, although some studies have suggested that glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, diacerein and avocado soybean unsaponifiables may slow the structural progression of osteoarthritis, these agents are not widely accepted as disease-modifying therapies.
"Because of the controversy surrounding the efficacy of agents such as glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate, physicians' responses varied widely in regard to prescribing or recommending these agents to osteoarthritis patients," said Amy Whiting, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "Although some rheumatologists might recommend glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate to their patients, interviewed experts say that the benefit of these agents has never been proven."
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