Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the emergence of premium-priced treatments, including agents from Novartis, Alizyme, and Astellas, will drive sales in the irritable bowel syndrome drug market to nearly triple by 2015.
The new Pharmacor report "Irritable Bowel Syndrome" finds that the uptake of Novartis' Zelmac/Zelnorm (tegaserod) and the launches of other high-priced agents in the 5-HT receptor modulator class, including Alizyme's renzapride and Astellas' ramosetron, will drive total market sales to more than $1.8 billion in 2015. The projected market growth is based on clinical trials of renzapride and ramosetron that have, to date, shown these agents to lack the increased incidence of serious side effects that has plagued similar drugs.
The report also finds that, while irritable bowel syndrome affects more than 73 million people in the world's major pharmaceutical markets (the United States, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom), diagnosis rates are 33% or lower for several reasons, including the tendency of many patients to opt for over-the-counter medication.
"Patients often use over-the-counter treatments to avoid the stigma of irritable bowel syndrome," said Decision Resources therapeutic area director Cindy Mundy, Ph.D. "Patients' reliance on non-prescription self-medication also stems from the fact that some physicians and insurers are unaware of the condition and its treatment options and that the condition is marginalized because it is not life-threatening. As a result, considerable commercial potential remains for companies that can develop and promote safe, effective therapies for this underserved market."
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