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Electronic Cigarettes Could Be The Next Blockbuster For The Pharmaceutical And Medical Device Industries, Says GlobalData Analyst
12/3/2013 10:05:16 AM
LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 3 December 2013 — As electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) have continued to attract massive popularity in the US since their introduction in 2007, they could be used to complement giant life science companies’ products in the smoking cessation market, if the technology performs well in existing clinical trials, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
Until 2013, the US e-cigarette market was predominately shared by smaller companies, such as Logic, Njoy, and Vapor. Still, the product has grown so fast that one leading company, V2 Cigs, recently announced that the e-cigarette market surpassed $1 billion in annual sales in 2013.
Additionally, this year marks the entrance of the world’s largest tobacco companies, such as the Altria Group and the Reynolds Group. Most recently, Phillip Morris International announced its plans to enter the market by late 2014.
Joseph Gregory, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Surgical Devices, says: “It will be interesting to see if any pharmaceutical or medical device companies seize upon this new market opportunity. While this may seem contradictory to these industries’ overall ethos of ‘improving morbidity and mortality’, the perception of e-cigarettes is likely to change over the next decade, should clinical trial results regarding their use in smoking cessation show a similar safety and efficacy profile in the long term as they have in the short term.”
In fact, one randomized, controlled clinical trial led by New Zealand researchers found that e-cigarettes were effective, with a similar achievement of abstinence as with nicotine patches and few adverse events.
The analyst goes on to say that e-cigarettes could complement other product types in the smoking cessation market, including nicotine patches, lozenges, and oral medications manufactured by large life science firms, such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson.
Additionally, Gregory argues that the future regulatory landscape of e-cigarettes could favor these companies further. This product category is being closely examined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it is likely that the agency will begin overseeing e-cigarette manufacturing and marketing in the US, as it already does with other tobacco products.
“If these e-cigarettes are regulated as devices or drugs, they would be subjected to the respective quality standards of each, including clinical trials demonstrating their safety and positive effects in smoking cessation. This would benefit companies in the life science industry, as they are already extremely well versed in the FDA pharmaceutical approval and medical device clearance processes,” the analyst says.
GlobalData believes that a decision on how to regulate this market could be available in 2014, given that the FDA has already submitted a proposed regulatory framework for e-cigarettes to be reviewed by the US Office of Management and Budget.
- Comment provided by Joseph Gregory, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Surgical Devices.
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