Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and health care issues, finds that public concern about drug addiction and problems with drug tolerance are constraining the chronic low back pain (CLBP) market despite physician experts' advocation for greater opioid use in the treatment of the disease. Growth of the opioid drug class will also be limited by political pressure in many countries against widespread use of opioids for chronic pain, according to a new Pharmacor study entitled Chronic Low Back Pain.

The study also finds that the increased use of the more-expensive selective COX-2 inhibitors will be a primary driver of the expansion of the CLBP market. "The percentage of drug-treated patients who receive a selective COX-2 inhibitor will grow from an average 10% in 2002 to 30% in 2012, said Nancy Macdonald, Ph.D., MBA, and analyst at Decision Resources. "The launch of COX-2 inhibitors in Japan will further drive the market growth of this class between 2006 and 2012, but because of the smaller size of the drug- treated population (many Japanese CLBP patients are treated with nonpharmacological therapies); this launch will have a smaller impact on overall market share."

The study also notes that Pfizer's pregabalin, a follow-on drug to the successful gabapentin, will play a significant role in the treatment of CLBP patients with neuropathic pain.

"Preclinical and clinical findings suggest that pregabalin will match gabapentin's advantages in safety and tolerability but will feature improved efficacy and easier dosing," continued Dr. Macdonald. "Based on its premium pricing and dosing convenience, pregabalin will capture 50% of the antiepileptic drug sales for CLBP, an important niche market, by 2012."

Disease Facts -- Chronic Low Back Pain

CLBP is a significant public health problem in industrialized countries. This chronic, debilitating condition is distinguished by the considerable size of its population and is associated with substantial health care, disability, and social costs. Approximately 30 million people in the major pharmaceutical markets (the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Japan) suffer from CLBP. Despite its prevalence, CLBP remains underdiagnosed; approximately 65% of CLBP patients are diagnosed with the condition.

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. Chronic Low Back Pain is a Cognos study.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources 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 more than 30 years, and assesses international pharmaceutical and health care industry trends. Visit Decision Resources at www.DecisionResources.com.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Elizabeth Marshall    Decision Resources, Inc.    781-296-2563    emarshall@dresources.com 

SOURCE: Decision Resources

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc., +1-781-296-
2563, emarshall@dresources.com

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