In 2021, Sales of Cancer Pain Therapies Will Increase to $5.2 Billion in the G7
Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that sales of cancer pain therapies will increase to $5.2 billion in 2021 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan. Over the next decade, several premium-priced agents will enter the market, taking significant patient share from low-cost drugs and spurring growth. Further growth will be restricted, however, by the enduring presence of generic opioids, which will continue to play a major role in cancer pain treatment, and by the onset of generic erosion in other drug classes, most notably the bisphosphonates.
The Pharmacor report entitled finds that the product development pipeline for cancer pain therapies is dominated by potential treatments for severe cancer pain as most of these drugs are reformulated long-acting opioid analgesics. Over the past few years, the market for transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl products for breakthrough cancer pain has quickly become crowded, and as a result, fewer companies feature breakthrough cancer pain products in their development pipelines.
Based on convincing results from numerous Phase III clinical trials in bone metastases and bone loss due to ablation therapy in prostate cancer patients, Decision Resources forecasts that denosumab (Amgen/GlaxoSmithKline/Daiichi Sankyo’s Xgeva/Ranmark) will gain blockbuster status in the cancer pain market by 2016. Denosumab is expected to derive the majority of its market share from the rapidly-eroding bisphosphonate class.
The report also finds that one of the greatest commercial opportunities in cancer pain is for effective products that lack the gastrointestinal and central nervous system side effects of opioid analgesics.
“Experts we interviewed are skeptical that the goal of greatly improved safety and tolerability will be achieved in the next ten years,” said Decision Resources Analyst Natalie Taylor, Ph.D. “This is because the majority of development activity has focused on reformulations of existing opioids.”
The cancer pain market’s largest segment is made up of therapies used to treat metastatic bone pain. Bisphosphonates have historically been a major driver of the cancer pain market because of their high cost, and denosumab is expected to continue to earn large sales in this segment following the near-term generic erosion of zoledronic acid (Novartis’s Zometa, generics) and also due to denosumab’s high price.
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