Last Updated 22 December 2014
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice. AF is a major cause of morbidity and mortality and is therefore a substantial public health and finance burden; it is also increasing in prevalence across the pharmaceutical markets discussed in this report owing to population aging. The emergence of several new agents for stroke risk reduction in AF patients has satisfied a major unmet need; however, the need for safe and effective agents to restore normal sinus rhythm is increasing due to the aging population and the limitations of existing agents. Drugs in development have the potential to alter treatment patterns, reduce the burden of AF, and dramatically improve patient outcomes.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • The prescribing of the novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) is having a significant impact on the AF market. How enthusiastic are physicians about the NOACs? What factors are driving prescribing patterns for the NOACs? How are physicians differentiating between the NOACs when prescribing these agents?

  • There are several agents in the development pipeline for AF. Which patients will be prescribed these agents? What do physicians think about these emerging pharmacotherapies? What are the commercial prospects for emerging cardioversion therapies such as ChanRx’s vanoxerine? What do physicians think about Gilead Sciences’ fixed-dose combination (FDC) of ranolazine with dronedarone? Which patients would benefit from Armetheon’s tecarfarin?

  • Physicians state that there is an overwhelming unmet need for safe and effective antiarrhythmic drugs for AF patients. However, the pipeline for novel antiarrhythmic therapies is relatively small. Given the challenging nature of antiarrhythmic drug development, which emerging therapies have the strongest prospects for addressing these unmet needs and achieving commercial success in the AF market?

  • Throughout the forecast period, we expect several key patent expiries to occur and generic agents to emerge. What will be the impact of these events on the overall size of the AF market? Which generic agents will lead to patients switching pharmacotherapies? How will the market dynamics change throughout the forecast period?


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

Primary research: 21 country-specific interviews with industry experts and physicians.

Epidemiology: Diagnosed AF prevalence by clinical subtype, CHADS2 score, CHA2DS2-VASc score, NYHA heart failure status, hypertension, and diagnosed AF events.

Population segments in market forecast: Paroxysmal AF, persistent AF, and permanent AF patients.

Emerging therapies: Phase II: 6 drugs; preregistration: 1 drug. We also include coverage of 10 select preclinical and Phase I products.

Author(s): Alexandra Hemsley, M.Sc., Eng.D.
Kristin Dorfman, M.P.H., M.S.