Report: Opioid pain sales to hit $18.4B in the U.S. by 2020

Monday, July 17, 2017

Informa Pharma Intelligence, a healthcare and pharmaceutical data and analysis firm, released its “Snapshot of the Opioid Market.” The report and infographic chart the opioid industry’s journey into an $18.4B annual market in the U.S. by 2020 and its attempts to combat the ongoing national crisis around opioid abuse.

Opioids: Past, Present, Future

Opioid prescriptions constitute more than half of the total prescription pain market, with Pfizer leading the industry in terms of R&D involvement in pain therapies. However, research shows the industry has been relatively slow to respond to the growing national crisis haunting the industry since OxyContin hit the market in 1995. According to the most recent CDC Data, opioid deaths have been steadily on the rise in the U.S. since 1999.

“At the same time the opioid market is expanding, deaths from opioid abuse are growing. The CDC estimates that more than 33,000 people died from opioid related causes in the U.S. in 2015 alone. It’s been a fascinating development to see how the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry have reacted to a crisis it unfortunately had a hand in creating.” said Michael Hay, head of Intelligence Products for Informa Pharma.

Late stage clinical trial data reveals that R&D effort in opioids is being directed toward formulations with abuse-deterrent properties. There a currently 15 opioids with abuse-deterrent formulas in late stage development from pharmaceutical companies, including Teva Pharmaceuticals and Elite Pharmaceuticals.

“Pushing for more ADF drugs has been a critical step towards curbing opioid abuse, while making sure the millions of people in need of pain medication have adequate access to the relief they need. However, how much this impacts the growing crisis remains to be seen as pharmaceutical companies pour more money into clinical trials and new finely tuned formulas over the next few years,” Hay commented.

Professional Perspectives

Informa Pharma Intelligence’s Biomedtracker and SERMO surveyed 30 U.S. primary care physicians treating patients with chronic pains that prescribe opioids to better understand first-hand how these controversial drugs are perceived. Findings suggest:

  • Half of the physicians surveyed think abuse-deterrent opioids will play no or only a slightly impactful role in combatting the opioids epidemic in the U.S.
  • Half of the physicians prescribe opioids to just 0-20% of their patients to treat chronic pain.
  • The majority of physicians surveyed don’t know if legislation has been adopted in their state requiring that abuse-deterrent opioids be covered by insurers.

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