Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, driven by the continued dominance of opioids that include immediate-release morphine and novel fast acting opioid reformulations, the cancer pain drug market will increase from $2.3 billion in 2008 to $3.7 billion in 2018 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.
The new Pharmacor report entitled Cancer Pain finds that the market segment for breakthrough pain (acute flares of pain on a background of controlled chronic pain) will experience the most robust annual growth over the next 10 years, increasing by more than 15 percent per year between 2008 and 2018. This is largely due to the launch and ongoing market penetration of several premium-priced novel opioid reformulations that include Cephalon's Fentora/Effentora and ProStrakan/Kyowa Hakko Kirin's Abstral, which are both reformulations of fentanyl. However, owing to generic availability and physician familiarity, older opioids such as immediate-release morphine will continue to dominate breakthrough cancer pain treatment.
"We anticipate that fast acting fentanyl reformulations will enjoy significant uptake in the breakthrough pain market segment," said Decision Resources Analyst Janie Mackay, Ph.D. "However, experts we interviewed indicate that physicians treating cancer pain are often reluctant to prescribe novel therapies because of strict adherence to the World Health Organization pain ladder which advocates the use of older analgesics such as morphine. The upshot of this is that, despite the launch of several novel therapies for breakthrough cancer pain, immediate-release traditional opioids will continue to dominate treatment of breakthrough pain."
The report also finds that, through 2018, two monoclonal antibodies will enter the cancer pain market -- Amgen's Prolia and Pfizer's Tanezumab. Prolia will seize significant patient and market share in the metastatic bone pain sector from the bisphosphonates, which include the current market leader, Novartis' Zometa. Tanezumab will be prescribed primarily in the severe pain population, with potential for use in the neuropathic and bone pain segments. As the only biologics in the cancer pain market, together, these agents will garner nearly one-fifth of the total cancer pain market in 2018.
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