A crowded generics market makes gaining a strong foothold in the treatment of chronic pain challenging for branded agents. The treatment of chronic pain involves the use of drugs from several drug classes, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioid analgesics. However, opioid analgesics, a cornerstone of chronic pain treatment, are under intense scrutiny from the public, payers, and prescribers; such scrutiny provides further opportunities for developers of agents with less risk of abuse or deterrence, agents that are safer and more tolerable, and drugs with novel mechanisms of action (MOAs), such as biologics targeting nerve growth factor (NGF). The emergence of agents with novel MOAs and the increase in prevalence of key subpopulations (e.g., osteoarthritic (OA) pain, chronic low back pain) will, in part, drive market growth.


  • How do interviewed experts perceive the chronic pain therapy market to be changing given the emphasis on the risk of abuse / misuse with opioid analgesics?
  • How influential are abuse-deterrent formulations of extended-release / long-acting opioid analgesics on U.S. physicians’ prescribing for severe chronic pain?
  • What will be the impact of new analgesics from various drug classes, most notably the first-in-class anti-NGF biologic therapies, given their reputed robust efficacy counterbalanced with safety risks, on the highly genericized chronic pain therapy market?
  • What are the greatest areas of unmet need in the treatment of chronic pain, and how are the emerging therapies expected to address these unmet needs?


Disease Landscape & Forecast provides comprehensive market intelligence with world-class epidemiology, keen insight into current treatment paradigms, in-depth pipeline assessments, and drug forecasts supported by detailed primary and secondary research.

Markets covered: United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan.

Primary research: 41 country-specific interviews with thought-leading primary care physicians, pain specialists, neurologists, rheumatologists, and anesthesiologists. Supported by survey data collected for other DRG research.

Epidemiology: Prevalence, diagnosed, and drug-treated rates of chronic pain subpopulations by country, specifically cancer pain, chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, and painful diabetic neuropathy; diagnosed prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis pain, OA pain, and postherpetic neuralgia, by country.

Forecast:Five- and ten-year drug-level sales of key chronic pain therapies through 2028; forecast base-year segmentation by select chronic pain populations.

Emerging Therapies: Phase II: 21 drugs; Phase III / preregistration / registration: 14 drugs.

Table of contents

  • Chronic Pain - Landscape & Forecast - Disease Landscape & Forecast

Author(s): Joyce Spadafora, ALM; Lisa Cloonan, BA; Natalie Taylor, PhD; Shilpa Thakur

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.

Lisa joined Decision Resources Group in 2015 as a business insights analyst for the Central Nervous System and Ophthalmology division. In this role, she analyzes the commercial opportunities for pharmacological therapies across the psychiatry space.

Prior to joining Decision Resources Group, Lisa spent 6 years in clinical stroke research at Massachusetts General Hospital. While in the clinical research field, Lisa developed an expertise in neuroimaging analysis, as well as authored and co-authored articles on the influence of white matter hyperintensity burden on stroke risk and recovery. Lisa holds bachelor of arts from Connecticut College, where her course work focused on behavioral neuroscience.

Natalie Taylor, Ph.D. is a Principal Business Insights Analyst with the central nervous system/ophthalmology disorders team at Decision Resources Group. She has over ten years of experience authoring primary and market research reports for pharmaceutical industry clients across multiple psychiatry, pain, neurology, and ophthalmology therapy areas.

Prior to joining DRG, Dr. Taylor worked at QuintilesIMS as manager of the central nervous system portfolio of Disease Insights market forecasting offerings. She completed her Ph.D. in Physiology at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she studied the role of serotonergic neurons in the medullary raphe on modulating respiratory responses in mammals. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Shilpa Thakur is a medical graduate with a M.P.H from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research with a specialization in epidemiology and biostatistics. She specializes in developing epidemiological forecasts for the multiple indications within the DRG syndicated portfolio.

Prior to joining Decision Resources, she monitored HIV sentinel surveillance 2016-2017 in Himachal Pradesh. She also has worked on to see the patterns of Antimicrobial resistance in India.


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