The well-publicized growth of the diabetic population worldwide has created a market opportunity for therapies that address three microvascular complications of diabetes: nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy. Microvascular Complications of Diabetes, a new Decision Resources study, evaluates these chronic complications and the drug development efforts underway to fulfill the significant unmet needs associated with each disease.
Chronic hyperglycemia can result in microvascular complications that exact a considerable toll on the diabetic patient: nephropathy can lead to end-stage renal disease, neuropathy can lead to severe infections that necessitate limb amputation, and retinopathy can progress to blindness. In this study, we explain how changes in medical practice and the impact of emerging therapies will be influenced by the following challenges:
-- Screening and diagnosis rates are unacceptably poor. Physicians and researchers alike bemoan the low diagnosis rate for each complication, a shortcoming that translates into missed opportunities for drug treatment and market expansion. Limited access to ophthalmic specialists for retinopathy, the generally asymptomatic nature of nephropathy, and the difficulty in establishing a diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy are just some of the factors confounding comprehensive screening programs. -- Neuropathic pain is notoriously difficult to treat. As many as 50% of diabetic neuropathy patients cannot achieve adequate symptom relief, despite the variety of agents available. Poor understanding of disease etiology and pathophysiology is largely to blame. Patients with negative symptoms such as numbness and other sensory loss represent an even greater untapped opportunity, because they are not usually prescribed pharmacotherapy except to treat existing neuropathic ulcers. -- The use of drug therapy is minimal for diabetic retinopathy. Although antihypertensives are sometimes prescribed for this indication, no drugs offer significant efficacy. Surgical treatments such as photocoagulation and vitrectomy are the gold standards, but physicians are eager for a pharmacological and noninvasive option to treat retinopathy.
Microvascular Complications of Diabetes offers invaluable market intelligence for pharmaceutical companies competing in this market. This study is part of Mosaic, one of six Pharmacor services from Decision Resources that evaluate the commercial potential of drugs in research and development.
Macrovascular complications are discussed in the recent Decision Resources study Cardiovascular Complications of Diabetes.
Decision Resources, Inc., is a world leader in pharmaceutical research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets. Founded as a subsidiary of Arthur D. Little, Inc., the company has provided strategic information services for 30 years. Visit the Decision Resources Web site at http://www.dresources.com/.
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