The opioid-induced constipation (OIC) global market will increase significantly from $144.42 million in 2012 to $1.98 billion by 2017, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.9%, according to forecasts from research and consulting firm GlobalData.
GlobalData reports the European Union (EU) has contributed to the majority of sales, generating an estimated $75.4 million in 2012. While Germany was the largest market in the same year, with a share of $41.5 million, the majority of sales will come from the U.S. in 2017, thanks to its possession of more than 90% of the market with a share of $1.79 billion.
The boost in the global market comes from the introduction of several highly targeted, oral, peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) therapies, such as AstraZeneca's naloxegol, Cubist's bevenopran and Salix's oral Relistor.
An additional market driver will be the increase in the number of OIC sufferers, due to overall population growth and continued use of opioids for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain.
Claire Gibson, Ph.D., GlobalData's analyst covering cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, said, "OIC remains a hugely untapped market with little competition among players in the pharmaceutical arena, especially as the first pharmacological treatment only became licensed in 2008. As of September, there are currently only two EU and FDA-approved treatments available. However, the OIC market boasts a commercially attractive patient population size, as well as the scope for companies to seek accelerated approval, enabling a potentially faster and more cost-effective R&D program."
Still, there is a lack of patient and physician awareness of OIC, which could be a major barrier to any further market growth.
Gibson said, "Improving diagnosis and increasing the awareness of new treatments are essential in boosting the drug-treatment rate for OIC. The current market is dominated by inexpensive, widely available laxatives, and despite a lack of strong evidence and poor clinical efficacy surrounding these products, they are currently broadly accepted as the mainstay of constipation relief. The potential success of OIC therapies over such laxatives will depend on extensive marketing," said Gibson.