In 2009, 40.3 million Americans were diagnosed with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Of these, 25.1 million had asthma and 15.1 million had COPD. The asthma/COPD therapeutics market is growing, with a high amount of momentum coming from COPD, which has remained a relatively unknown disease.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's (pharma.frost.com) U.S. Asthma/COPD Market research finds that the market earned revenues of $15.4 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $17.9 million in 2016.
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"The number of Americans diagnosed with either asthma or COPD is increasing, and expected to reach 43.9 million by 2016," said a Frost & Sullivan research analyst. "This growing number is likely to drive both revenue growth and product innovation in the related therapeutics market."
As both asthma and COPD are incurable and chronic, medications that are more effective than the existing ones are desired. Between 2009 and 2016, seven drugs are expected to be introduced in the market; thus, driving growth.
However, patent expiry of some top-selling medications will strengthen competition from less expensive generics, eroding the revenue potential of the market. For instance, the second-highest selling medication in this market, Merck's Singulair, loses patent protection in 2012. Similarly, Advairs' last patent expires in August 2016.
Nevertheless, pharmaceutical and biotech companies continue to address unmet requirements in the treatment of asthma and COPD by developing novel medications.
The need for market-specific expertise can inhibit the entry of new participants. For example, most medications for asthma and COPD are inhaled and, besides developing a compound, entrants must design an inhalation device that meets Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements and is user friendly.
In early 2010, the FDA announced the requirement of a risk management evaluation management strategy (REMS) and a label change for all long-acting bronchodilators. In addition, the FDA changed the treatment guidelines for these medications.
"During the forecast period, four new medications are expected to be approved by the FDA," said the analyst. "These include a new long-acting anticholinergic medication and a combination of an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator with convenient once-daily dosing."
The launch of new products that address some unmet requirements in the treatment of asthma or COPD, along with increased patient awareness, is expected to help fuel revenue growth in the market.
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U.S. Asthma/COPD Market - N85C