In the Asthma Drug Market, Generic Erosion Will Reduce Sales of Merck/Kyorin’s Singulair by More Than $2.8 Billion Between 2011 and 2021

In the Asthma Drug Market, Generic Erosion Will Reduce Sales of Merck/Kyorin’s Singulair by More Than $2.8 Billion Between 2011 and 2021

Decision Resources

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Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Merck/Kyorin’s Singulair is a dominant player among maintenance therapies in the asthma market, attaining sales of nearly $3.2 billion and the second-highest patient share in the major markets in 2011. However, generic versions of Singulair launched in the United States in 2012, and Decision Resources expects further sales losses as generics enter the European markets in 2013 and the Japanese market in 2016. As a result, sales of Singulair will shrink to $360 million in 2021 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

The upcoming Pharmacor advisory service entitled , which will be published soon, also finds that the overall market for asthma therapies will be relatively flat over the next decade, with sales increasing slightly by approximately $200 million from 2011 to 2021. Pricing pressure due to generic and/or branded-generic price erosion and increased product competition will constrain the market, but the uptake of high-priced once-daily fixed-dose combinations and novel anticytokine agents will grow sales.

“The asthma marketplace is saturated with effective, well-established treatments and increasing generic competition in the United States and Europe and heightened cost-consciousness in the major markets will drive increased competitiveness in this space,” said Decision Resources Analyst Colleen Albacker, Ph.D. “Evaluation of the late-stage pipeline for asthma indicates that commercial success will hinge on clearly messaging the advantages of incremental gains in safety, efficacy, convenience, and pricing to differentiate emerging players from competitors as none appear to offer significant strides over marketed therapies.”

The findings also reveal that, starting from 2015, three novel anticytokine agents are expected to launch for the treatment of severe, corticosteroid-refractory asthma and infuse a competitive dynamic to this segment of the market that is currently underserved by the availability of only one pharmacological option, Genentech/Novartis’s Xolair. These novel biologics will begin to fulfill an important unmet need for severe, refractory patients, and their launch will signify a move toward personalized medicine for the treatment of asthma.

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