BURLINGTON, Mass.--()--Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, through 2021, the key driver of growth in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) drug market will be the launches of the premium-priced disease-modifying therapies solanezumab (Eli Lilly’s anti-beta-amyloid monoclonal antibody) and Baxter’s IVIG product Gammagard/Kiovig. Decision Resources forecasts that solanezumab will be the first disease-modifying therapy to launch for AD in the major pharmaceutical markets—the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan—and will attain blockbuster status in its first full year on the market, owing largely to its substantial price premium over current agents. Additionally, increasing rates of polypharmacy will contribute modestly to market growth over our forecast period, as experts interviewed unanimously agree that disease-modifying therapies will frequently be prescribed in combination with approved symptomatic agents—which will remain the mainstays of AD treatment—in order to achieve optimal clinical benefit.
“We expect pharmacoeconomic analyses demonstrating the cost-savings associated with the use of a high-priced disease-modifying AD therapy will likely become a critical tool in securing reimbursement for such a premium-priced agent”
The Pharmacor advisory service entitled Alzheimer’s Disease also finds that a burgeoning drug-treated population will contribute to market expansion through 2021. The availability of amyloid-imaging agents (Avid Radiopharmaceuticals’* recently launched Amyvid, GE Healthcare’s flutemetamol and Piramal Healthcare’s florbetaben) will allow for earlier diagnosis of AD. The use of these novel diagnostic tools, combined with the greater efficacy that emerging therapies are expected to offer over current therapies, will increase both diagnosis and drug-treatment rates across the markets under study.
“At present, the AD market is comprised solely of symptomatic therapies of modest efficacy that do not affect disease progression,” said Decision Resources Analyst Georgiana Kuhlmann, S.M. “A therapy that truly alters the course of AD is a significant unmet need, but failures of potentially disease-modifying therapies in the last five years have tempered the enthusiasm of many experts for emerging therapies. Nonetheless, an effective and safe disease-modifying therapy would profoundly alter the AD treatment landscape, and experts are cautiously optimistic that one will launch within the next decade.”
The findings also reveal that payers’ cost sensitivity is anticipated to be a considerable constraint on the AD market—the combination of a rapidly expanding prevalent population and the launch of both expensive new drugs and diagnostic tools will put significant financial pressure on healthcare systems. Decision Resources expects that, in accordance with the opinions of experts interviewed, reimbursement authorities in all markets under study will likely impose restrictions on the use of expensive disease-modifying therapies by limiting their use to specific patient subsets (most likely those patients in the mildest stages of the disease) and/or implementing cost controls such as prior authorization.
“We expect pharmacoeconomic analyses demonstrating the cost-savings associated with the use of a high-priced disease-modifying AD therapy will likely become a critical tool in securing reimbursement for such a premium-priced agent,” Ms. Kuhlmann said.
*Avid Radiopharmaceuticals is a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company.
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