Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and health care issues, announced today that Pfizer's pregabalin may not be enough to save the epilepsy drug market from generic erosion. Generics and competition from well known, less expensive, first-generation antiepileptic drugs will limit growth in the epilepsy therapy market, according to the new report Epilepsy.
"Sales of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are poised for robust growth, but this expansion will be realized largely in indications other than epilepsy," said Timothy Gasperoni, PhD, analyst at Decision Resources. "Pregabalin, Pfizer's follow-on compound to gabapentin, is the most promising agent in development for epilepsy, offering improved efficacy and more convenient dosing. The introduction of pregabalin in the epilepsy drug market in 2007 will bring minor growth, but generic equivalents of many epilepsy agents will slow growth of the overall market to 1.6% annually."
The arrival of new drugs with improved efficacy and tolerability would change this picture, but the pipeline for epilepsy drugs currently lacks agents with commercial promise - only pregabalin appears to offer clear advantages over currently available drugs.
"A major need exists for more tolerable agents to address symptoms of epilepsy," continued Dr. Gasperoni. "However, the development of such AEDs remains an elusive goal. Because epilepsy affects the basic mechanisms of neurotransmission, it is difficult to devise an effective therapy that does not cause central nervous system side effects. In many cases, these side effects are dose-limiting. Many physicians say that the estimated 30% of patients who are refractory to treatment could be treated effectively with higher doses of drugs, were it not for AEDs' dose-related side effects."
Disease Facts -- Epilepsy
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases, affecting more than 5 million people in the world's major pharmaceutical markets (United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan). Epilepsy encompasses a diverse collection of chronic syndromes that involve the recurrence of many different types of seizures. Seizures, which occur when brain function is disrupted by excessive neuronal discharges, are associated with a variety of symptoms, including impairment or loss of consciousness, abnormal motor phenomena such as convulsions, psychic or sensory disturbances, and perturbation of the autonomic nervous system.
About Pharmacor from Decision Resources
Pharmacor is a unique family of studies based on primary and secondary research conducted by Decision Resources' on-staff experts. Each comprehensive study assesses a host of market-impacting factors and analyzes the commercial outlook for drugs in research and development. Cardium, Cognos, Immune and Inflammatory Disorders, Infectious Disease, Metabolic Disorders, Psychiatric Disorders, and Onkos concentrate on specific therapeutic areas. Mosaic covers high-interest disease states. Epilepsy is a Cognos report.
About Decision Resources
Decision Resources, Inc., is a world leader in research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets. The company has provided strategic information services for 30 years, assessing international pharmaceutical and health care industry trends. Visit Decision Resources at http://www.decisionresources.com/.
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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.
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