Gout Treatment Market Opportunities Bolstered By Rise Of Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes And Lack Of Physician Awareness, Says Globaldata Analyst
2/27/2014 8:57:46 AM
LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 27 February 2014 - Despite some leading rheumatologists’ opinions that gout is curable with available therapies, a lack of physician education, combined with restricted access to the generic uricosurics, means that new add-on therapies, such as AstraZeneca’s lesinurad, will be highly successful among the difficult-to-treat gout population, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
According to Valentina Gburcik, Ph.D., GlobalData’s Analyst covering Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders, physicians and patients both display a low awareness of gout’s seriousness, despite its status as one of the oldest recognized disorders in humans. Indeed, Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) interviewed by GlobalData agree that physicians need to take the disease more seriously, with some even questioning the need for novel therapies.
Gburcik says: “The gout drug market is very mature and highly genericized. Allopurinol, a first-line, urate-lowering therapy (ULT), has been used for almost 40 years in over 90% of ULT-treated gout patients. Takeda’s Uloric, which reached the market in 2009, managed to steal only about 10% of allopurinol’s patient share, as the much lower cost and general effectiveness of the latter drug presented a stiff entry barrier to the branded therapy.
“Despite Uloric’s struggle to penetrate the market, pharmaceutical companies perceive that the difficult-to-treat population is growing and that novel treatments are necessary.”
Gburcik believes that gout’s increasing prevalence may be explained by the increasing frequency of risk factors for hyperuricemia, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Patients who are unresponsive to or intolerant of standard gout therapies are also rising in number, and several companies have been trying to develop novel drugs targeting this challenging patient pool.
On the other hand, KOLs interviewed by GlobalData have indicated that while novel therapies are welcome, improved physician education remains a more significant unmet need in gout treatment, as the disease is practically curable with the current standard of care.
However, as Gburcik continues: “While we agree that raised awareness would support proper disease management with available therapies, consequently limiting the opportunity for novel agents, there is no sign that gout management will improve significantly over the coming years. Drug developers, such as AstraZeneca, therefore have the potential to achieve great success in this market.”
- Comments provided by Valentina Gburcik, Ph.D., GlobalData’s Analyst covering Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders.
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