The global market for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) drugs is set to reach $47bn in 2017 according to a new report.
US market research firm BCC Research estimates that the market for prescription drugs in these respiratory areas will hit $38bn in 2012 before continuing growth at a compound annual rate of 4.4 per cent over the next five years.
This will be driven by the increasing prevalence of asthma and COPD due to the world's increasingly aging population and rising pollution levels, says its Global Markets for Asthma & COPD Drugs report.
COPD comprises several chronic lung diseases that cause limitations in lung airflow and projections from the World Health Organization (WHO) see it being the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.
Meanwhile, some pharma manufacturers are due to see sales from their key brands in the area decline as patent expiries bite. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will soon be hit by generic competition for Seretide (fluticasone propionate), while Merck & Co is expecting huge losses following the FDA's approval of first generic version of its asthma drug Singulair earlier this month. The drug made $4.4bn during 2011.
BCC Research analyst Peggy Lehr predicts the industry's overall asthma and COPD market will be sustained though, as new drugs counter the loss of such major performers.
These medicines include SkyePharma's Flutiform (fluticasone/formoterol) to treat asthma, Novartis' Arcapta Neohaler for patients with COPD, and GSK's own Seretide follow-up Relvar (formerly Relovair) for both asthma and COPD.
When broken down, the report predicts combination asthma/COPD drugs to be worth $17.4bn in 2012 and to reach $21.3bn in 2017.
Drugs with only an asthma indication will increase from $15,3bn in 2012 to $20.2bn in 2017, while COPD drug revenues will achieve a less significant growth from $5.3bn in 2012 to $5.6bn in 2017.