Market Outlook

The U.S. treatment landscape for osteoarthritic (OA) pain, despite being highly genericized, contains a large number of brand-only agents, including multiple opioid analgesics with abuse-deterrent formulations (ADFs). In this analysis, DRG explores the current prescribing and reimbursement landscape for key branded analgesics, including what hurdles these agents—particularly opioid analgesic ADFs—face and how novel emerging therapies, including one of the first biologics for pain (Pfizer/Eli Lilly’s tanezumab), will be used. Additionally, this analysis offers insight into the role of surgical interventions as treatment alternatives for OA pain and to what extent such interventions are reimbursed.


  • What factors, including those tied to market access, influence physician prescribing of branded analgesics for OA pain, and what therapies are succeeding and stumbling based on these factors?
  • Which cost-control measures do payers use to manage the cost of branded analgesics for OA pain? What impact does pharmacoeconomic analysis have on formulary decisions for opioid analgesic ADFs?
  • How do physicians use surgical interventions (e.g., joint replacement surgery) to treat OA pain? What are payers’ polices on such interventions?
  • What access and reimbursement challenges will emerging analgesics from Pfizer/Eli Lilly (tanezumab), DepoMed/Grünenthal (cebranopadol), and Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR-181) face?


Access & Reimbursement provides in-depth insight regarding the impact of payer policy on physician prescribing behavior so that clients can build their market access strategy and optimize their brand positioning.

Markets covered: United States

Primary research:

  • Survey of 51 rheumatologists and 51 pain specialists in the United States.
  • Survey of 30 U.S. managed care organizations (MCO) pharmacy and medical directors (PDs/MDs).

Key companies: Purdue Pharma, Horizon Pharma, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Janssen, DepoMed, Grünenthal, Iroko, Collegium Pharmaceutical, Flexion Therapeutics, Nektar Therapeutics

Key drugs: Butrans, celecoxib (Celebrex, generics), diclofenac sodium gel (Voltaren Gel, generics), Duexis, Embeda, Hysingla ER, Nucynta ER, OxyContin, Vimovo, Vivlodex, Xtampza ER, Zilretta, Zorvolex, tanezumab, cebranopadol, NKTR-181

Content highlights:

  • Reimbursement and contracting.
  • Access and prescribing.
  • Special topics.
  • Opportunities and challenges for emerging therapies.

Table of contents

  • Osteoarthritic Pain - Access & Reimbursement - Detailed, Expanded Analysis (US)
    • Access & Reimbursement - Osteoarthritic Pain US

Author(s): Joyce Spadafora, ALM

Joyce is a business insights analyst in Decision Resources Group’s central nervous systems and ophthalmology division, where she provides expert insight into commercial aspects of drug development and market sizing across psychiatric and pain indications. She has worked extensively in DRG’s schizophrenia and chronic pain content.

Prior to joining DRG, Joyce spent several years in the biotech industry focused in research and development and in biotech consulting. Her project experience covered indications including psychiatry, pain, infectious diseases, respiratory, and ophthalmology. Beyond my therapeutic and industry knowledge, she holds a Masters in Extension Studies in Psychology from Harvard University and a B.S in Mechanical Engineering with Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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