MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Growing numbers of Americans with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are driving innovation among drug makers, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan.
More than 40 million Americans were diagnosed with asthma or COPD in 2009, including 25.1 million with asthma and 15.1 million with COPD. Along with the rapid growth in both disease states, revenues have grown as well, with the market earning revenues of $15.4 million in 2009 and on track to earn $17.9 million in 2016. During that same period, seven new drugs are expected to be introduced in the market.
"The number of Americans diagnosed with either asthma or COPD is increasing and expected to reach 43.9 million by 2016," a Frost & Sullivan research analyst said. "This growing number is likely to drive both revenue growth and product innovation in the related therapeutics market."
Still, the introduction of less expensive generics threatens some of the revenue growth, with Merck & Co.'s Singulair (montelukast) and GlaxoSmithKline's Advair (fluticasone propionate and salmetrol) set to lose patent protection in 2012 and 2016, respectively. But drug companies have continued addressing unmet medical needs of people with asthma and COPD, especially because most drugs for both diseases are inhalants that require devices that are user-friendly and in compliance with Food and Drug Administration requirements.