Rapid Generic Erosion of Branded Agents, Including Market-Leading Viagra, Will Cause Sales of Erectile Dysfunction Drugs to Remain Flat Over the Next Decade
WALTHAM, Mass., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, despite the anticipated launch of five emerging drugs during the 2007-2017 forecast period, total sales for erectile dysfunction therapies will remain relatively constant, totaling $2.2 billion in 2007 and $2.1 billion in 2017. Rapid generic erosion, following patent expiries that begin in the United States in 2012 for the market leader, Pfizer's Viagra (sildenafil), will be the key event impacting the erectile dysfunction market. However, the decline in Viagra sales will be tempered by more widespread use of sildenafil overall, as greater numbers of patients are expected to seek treatment and receive prescription drug therapy for erectile dysfunction when less-expensive, generic versions of sildenafil become available.
The new Pharmacor report entitled Erectile Dysfunction finds that while therapeutic substitution of less-expensive, generic sildenafil for branded phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors will contribute to a significant loss of sales for Eli Lilly's Cialis and Bayer Healthcare/Schering-Plough/GlaxoSmithKline's Levitra, the availability of generic PDE5 inhibitors will encourage more patients to seek treatment for erectile dysfunction, driving increases in the diagnosed and drug-treated populations through 2017 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.
According to the report, opportunity remains for emerging agents that can treat patients who do not respond to treatment with available PDE5 inhibitors or for whom these agents are contraindicated. However, several second-generation PDE5 inhibitors that are forecast to launch over the next decade are not expected to generate sufficient interest among prescribing physicians to notably offset declines anticipated in the erectile dysfunction market. Reimbursement hurdles will also constrain the market as third-party payers in the United States who currently provide reimbursement for PDE5 inhibitors may remove branded PDE5 inhibitors from their formularies, further encouraging patients to adopt less expensive treatment alternatives.
"Across the major markets under study, first-line therapies for erectile dysfunction are largely regarded as lifestyle therapies and, as such, do not qualify for reimbursement under national healthcare systems," said Kathryn Benton, analyst at Decision Resources. "Although some third-party payers in the United States reimburse PDE5 inhibitors as tier-two or tier-three drugs, steep copayments and, in some instances, prior authorization requirements and quantity limits discourage many patients from taking these drugs."
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