Improving survival among those with advanced cancer along with a high rate of cancer-related pain in this patient population will lead to steady growth in the prevalence of cancer pain in the seven major markets under study throughout the ten-year forecast period. However, treatment of cancer-related pain will not change dramatically over the next decade because of a dearth of new therapies. Indeed, strong opioid analgesics will continue to be the mainstay of treatment for severe types of cancer pain, accounting for more than 90% of major-market drug sales for cancer pain in 2014 and 2024. Overall, we expect only modest growth in the $2 billion cancer pain market throughout our ten-year forecast period.

Questions Answered:

  • The late-stage pain pipeline is dominated by several strong opioid reformulations in the United States that feature abuse-deterrent properties. What are the expected peak-year sales for these products in the treatment of cancer pain in the U.S. market? Will third-party payers reimburse these newer abuse-deterrent formulations in place of the older opioids? How will political and public pressure in the U.S. market to curb widespread opioid abuse affect uptake of these agents for cancer pain?
  • Several later-stage investigational analgesics, including Immune Pharmaceuticals’ AmiKet, GW Pharmaceutical’s and Otsuka’s Sativex, and Pfizer/Eli Lilly’s and Janssen/Takeda’s anti-nerve growth factor monoclonal antibodies (tanezumab and fulranumab, respectively) have had poor results in clinical trials for cancer pain in recent months. How will these disappointing data affect these agents’ prospects for cancer pain? How will the outlook for these drugs affect the overall cancer pain market going forward?
  • Several key cancer pain drugs will lose patent protection during the ten-year forecast period. How will these patent expiries affect the overall cancer pain market? Which particular products will see the greatest generic erosion, and when? To what extent will sales of new analgesics offset generic erosion of key products?


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

Primary research: 51 country-specific interviews with thought-leading physicians, including pain specialists, palliative care specialists, anesthesiologists, oncologists, and neurologists.

Epidemiology: Prevalent cases of severe cancer pain, breakthrough cancer pain, neuropathic cancer pain, and metastatic bone pain.

Emerging therapies: Phase II: 7 drugs; Phase III or preregistration: 8 drugs.

Market forecast features: Top-down market features prescription drug treatment for severe, breakthrough, neuropathic, and metastatic bone pain in cancer patients in the seven major markets under study for 2014, with forecast drug sales for 2019 (mid-year) and 2024 (final forecast year).

Table of contents

  • Cancer Pain - Landscape & Forecast - Disease Landscape & Forecast

Author(s): Bethany A. Kiernan, PhD; Andrea Witt, PhD

Bethany A. Kiernan, Ph.D., is a senior director in the central nervous system/ophthalmology disorders unit of Decision Resources Group. While at Decision Resources Group, Dr. Kiernan has covered the market dynamics of numerous indications, including schizophrenia, depression, migraine, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and other disorders.

Dr. Kiernan’s previous experience includes eight years of scientific research conducted at Tufts University School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and the College of the Holy Cross. Dr. Kiernan earned her Ph.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Andrea S. Witt, Ph.D., is Therapy Leader of the Central Nervous System and Ophthalmology Disorders Portfolio at Decision Resources Group where she oversees a team of 14 Business Insights Analysts and Senior Directors responsible for market research encompassing Neurology, Psychiatry, Pain, and Ophthalmology.

 Dr. Witt has been with Decision Resources Group for over 12 years, following CNS markets and trends. Her interests beyond specific CNS indications included the market potential for neuroprotectants and the impact of biomarkers on CNS markets. Dr. Witt’s research, analysis, and commentaries have appeared in Barron’s, Pharmaceutical Executive, PharmaVoice, Nature Medicine, and CNBC. Dr. Witt’s previous experience includes 10 years of scientific research conducted on neurodegenerative disorders at Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Duke University, and the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center, where she earned her Ph.D. degree.

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