Efforts to raise disease awareness in the Philippines have increased the number of cases and patient pool available for hepatitis C treatment. Screening and detection efforts by the Red Cross as well as growing awareness in the Philippines have been largely responsible for the rise in the number of diagnosed cases. These campaigns have encouraged people, mostly from the urban areas, to opt for physical examinations that enable the detection of hepatitis C.
Physicians and key opinion leaders (KOLs) believe that the diagnosis rate will increase gradually, after the Philippine Government officially implements its hepatitis C program to spread awareness of the disease in the country. In the future, refined versions of current hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs, oral formulations of small molecule inhibitors, and the new drug class known as protease inhibitors are expected to improve treatment success rates for patients and take the market forward.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (pharma.frost.com), Multi-Client Study: Opportunities Assessment for the Hepatitis C Therapeutics Market in the Philippines, finds that the market earned revenues of $2.3 billion in 2007 and is expected to increase to approximately $4.5 billion by 2017, due to new drug launches occurring after 2010.
"The highest patient group for Hepatitis C in the Philippines is injecting drug users who share needles both for narcotic and therapeutic purposes," says Rhenu Bhuller, Global Vice President of Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology at Frost & Sullivan. "Another patient group at risk for Hepatitis C includes those who receive blood products that may not have been screened properly; the latter is more of a concern in rural rather than urban areas in the country."
Although diagnosis rates have improved, there are impediments that are deterring market progression. Treatment of hepatitis C is restrained by the high cost of medication for patients who do not have health insurance. Combined with the known side effects, which include flu-like symptoms, neuropsychiatric disorders, and autoimmune syndromes, has resulted in lowered patient compliance.
The Philippines does not reimburse treatment for hepatitis C, and medical insurance companies do not allow reimbursement for these costs. In the Philippines, the cost of medicines is notably higher compared to other Asian countries and patients struggle to shoulder the cost of treatment. It is challenging for both urban and rural patients to afford the costly treatment for hepatitis C. Additionally, the intravenous mode of administration is viewed as inconvenient by many patients, resulting in lower compliance.
"As far as treatment modes are concerned, small molecule antivirals are dominating the pipeline at present since they have met with success in the treatment of other viral infections, such as hepatitis B and HIV," says Bhuller. "Several strategies are being explored in clinical trials, including add-on therapy to the current standard of care, interferon replacement, and ribavirin replacement."
To circumvent the bottlenecks in this market, companies must offer treatment options that expedite efficiency, have fewer side effects, and be reasonably priced. Patients should be made aware of their disease status as early as possible and be encouraged to remain compliant to treatment. Additionally, incentives must be provided to ensure compliance to HCV treatment. This will amplify the likelihood of future compliance, especially for improved treatments.
To educate at-risk patients, public and private organizations, including pharmaceutical companies, must increase efforts to spread awareness. Greater information outreach will help patients obtain the right mode of treatment and ultimately stem the onslaught of the HCV virus in the Philippines.
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email to Nicklaus Au, Corporate Communications, at nicklaus.au[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.
Multi-Client Study: Opportunities Assessment for the Hepatitis C Therapeutics Market in the Philippines is part of the Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Opportunities Assessment of Hepatitis C Market in Taiwan, Opportunities Assessment of Hepatitis C in China, Opportunities Assessment of Hepatitis C in Indonesia, Opportunities Assessment of Hepatitis C in Singapore, Opportunities Assessment of Hepatitis C in Australia, Opportunities Assessment of Hepatitis C in Thailand, Opportunities Assessment of Hepatitis C in Hong Kong, Opportunities Assessment of Hepatitis C in India, Opportunities Assessment of Hepatitis C in Korea, and Opportunities Assessment of Hepatitis C in Malaysia. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Multi-Client Study: Opportunities Assessment for the Hepatitis C Therapeutics Market in the Philippines / P388