Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and health care issues, finds that the compliance to a clean air treaty by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will force leading metered-dose inhalers containing ozone-depleting propellants off the U.S. asthma treatment market by the end of 2008.
According to the new Pharmacor report Asthma, conformity to guidelines of the Montreal Protocol (an international clean air treaty) will result in a reverse-generic-erosion phenomenon for all albuterol asthma inhalers in 2008, including GlaxoSmithKline's Ventolin and Schering-Plough's Proventil. This unique, one-time event will lead to $1 billion in combined sales in 2014 in the U.S., Western Europe and Japan for compliant formulations of Ventolin and Proventil. The report also finds that more physicians will turn to levalbuterol as an alternative to albuterol, generating $1.1 billion in sales in the seven major markets for Sepracor's Xopenex (levalbuterol) in 2014.
"Because all current generic versions of inhaled albuterol contain ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants, all generics will be removed from the U.S. market in 2008, leaving only higher-priced branded albuterol propelled with hydrofluoroalkane," said Vickie Lai, analyst at Decision Resources. "As a result, the albuterol market in the U.S. will become branded only, leading to $1 billion in major market sales for Ventolin and Proventil in 2014-more than doubling their sales totals from 2004."
Asthma is an inflammatory lung disorder characterized by chronically inflamed airways that are hyper-responsive to environmental triggers and that become obstructed, limiting optimal airflow.
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