The Alzheimer’s disease (AD) medication market is set to gravitate toward therapies capable of arresting or slowing the disease progression. As the currently marketed drugs provide only symptomatic alleviation, the AD medication market offers ample opportunities for growth, in particular for drugs that can modify the course of the disease.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (pharmaceuticals.frost.com), U.S. Alzheimer’s Disease Medication Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of $2.41 billion in 2006 and estimates this to exceed $4.00 billion in 2013.
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“The potential of this unmet needs market has attracted considerable attention from drug developers,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Adriana Rusu. “The first wave of disease modifying drugs is likely to reach the market within the next couple of years, and in combination with symptomatic drugs, could enhance treatment options in this growing market.”
Demand for AD medication is set to increase with the rising disease prevalence resulting from the growing number of the baby-boomer population that will reach the age of 65 within the next several years. Simultaneously, an increased level of awareness about Alzheimer's, coupled with improved diagnostic techniques, are likely to expand the patient base and fuel market growth. Moreover, increased research and development activity is expected to expand the treatment options in the near future, and consequently the overall AD medication market.
Presently, due to patent protection, only branded drugs are available to treat Alzheimer’s. However, the competitive landscape is expected to soon change as their patent expiration dates are nearing. With the possibility of generics reaching the market by 2009, competition in the AD medication market is likely to intensify. Consequently, the availability of less expensive generics is expected to temporarily restrain market growth, before the new disease-modifying drugs are able to establish a strong market presence.
Manufacturers of existing drugs, which are facing pending generic erosion, can distinguish their products in particular through new drug delivery methods and formulations. Given the special needs of the AD patient population, such strategies are most likely to appeal to end users and have a market impact.
However, the developers of new drugs are facing different challenges. For drugs in development, time-to-market is critical to seize the opportunity provided by the high needs of this market. “Designing and conducting effective clinical trials that could ensure successful outcomes and compelling results may accelerate the time-to-market and aid in establishing a solid competitive advantage,” concludes Rusu.
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