BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that the emergence of the long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA)/long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) drug class will help drive total sales across the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) market in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan to over $16 billion in 2023. This reflects a 3.7 percent annual growth between 2013 and 2023. Over a quarter of COPD sales in 2023 will come from the LABA/LAMA combinations. However, relatively low payer enthusiasm for the LABA/LAMAs and lack of differentiation among the class members will ensure that, despite the launch of novel tiotropium formulations, more prescriptions will be written for Boehringer Ingelheim/Pfizer's Spiriva in 2023 than for any other long-acting COPD agent.
Other key findings from the Pharmacor report entitled Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
- Market fragmentation: Combined sales of the LAMA Spiriva and the LABA/inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) combination salmeterol/fluticasone propionate (GlaxoSmithKline's Advair/Seretide/Adoair) constituted 62 percent of the COPD market in 2013. Going forward, the COPD market will become more fractured as several promising agents reach the market; however, few will have truly differentiating clinical attributes.
- Expanding drug-treated population: The prevalence of COPD is increasing owing to an aging population in the seven major markets. In addition, diagnosis rates are rising due to increased awareness of the disease and more widespread use of spirometry.
- Opportunity for disease-modifying therapies: With most of the late-stage pipeline for COPD consisting of new combinations of currently-available drug classes, thought leaders emphasize a need for therapies with truly novel mechanisms of action that can halt or even reverse lung tissue damage. Interviewed experts are cautiously optimistic that some early-stage COPD therapies have the potential to fulfill this need.
Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Colleen E. Albacker, Ph.D.:
- "Interviewed pulmonologists are extremely welcoming of all new bronchodilators, even if it's the third or fourth member of a drug class, because this ensures that every patient can get a treatment that works best for them—that is, the best permutation of drug, inhaler, side effects, and formulary considerations. Payers do not always agree with this sentiment, and that will make it difficult for any new therapy to dominate over our forecast period."
- "Compliance is notoriously low among COPD patients, so thought leaders believe that anything that makes taking prescriptions more convenient for patients can help in the long run. Thus, experts are embracing the only once-daily LABA/ICS, Breo/Relvar (GlaxoSmithKline/Theravance), and the first LABA/LAMAs to the COPD market, Ultibro (Novartis) and Anoro (GlaxoSmithKline/Theravance), for the incremental advances they offer on convenience, even in the absence of data demonstrating improvements in efficacy over their respective constituent therapies."
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