Glaucoma Pharma Market Begins to Rebound with Combo Drugs, Sustained Delivery Devices

September 30, 2016: By Market Scope

The outlook for the glaucoma pharmaceutical market is growing more positive after several years of market declines due to the expiration of patents for prostaglandins, the primary go-to treatment for open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

We expect the market to generate roughly $4.1 billion in revenues at the manufacturers’ level in 2016, and Market Scope forecasts that revenues will climb to nearly $5.3 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 5.4 percent.

Branded prostaglandins, once the driver of a thriving global glaucoma pharmaceutical market, have largely been displaced by generic products with reduced prices. As a result, market revenues have declined in recent years. However, industry expectations have adjusted to this new reality, and reformulations of prostaglandin mainstays have stabilized the segment.
Combination drugs, including products with prostaglandins, are gaining traction, with newer combo formulations poised the enter the market. In addition, sustained release versions of prostaglandins are making their way through the clinical trial process, and we expect several to gain regulatory approvals and capture market share over the next few years.
Market Scope has just released its 2016 Glaucoma Pharmaceuticals Report, which focuses on current market conditions and opportunities for growth through 2021.

Glaucoma and Prevalence: Glaucoma in its various forms remains the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. The disease affects an estimated 128.3 million worldwide. Most glaucomas can also be characterized as either open-angle or closed-angle—or, less commonly, both. In addition, there are other forms of glaucoma related to other conditions and usually referred to as secondary glaucomas.

Most glaucoma is characterized by higher-than-normal intraocular pressure (IOP), but many individuals have elevated IOP without any of the associated glaucoma damage. This common condition is referred to as ocular hypertension.

Most glaucoma patients do not have any pain and only suffer significant loss of vision in the later stages of the disease. As a result, many patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension are not diagnosed or treated. Expanding access to eye care services in developing world is growing the number of diagnosed glaucoma patients at an even faster rate. Market Scope expects the pool of diagnosed glaucoma patients to grow at a compounded rate of 3.3 percent through 2021.

Many glaucoma patients require multiple medications to bring their IOP into the normal range. When more than one medication is required, the standard practice is to select different medications with different mechanisms of action. Prostaglandins are the most commonly prescribed primary medication, and there are several commonly prescribed adjunctive medications including beta blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, alpha agonists, and other less commonly prescribed medications.

Fixed combo drugs which have more than one medication are also popular both as primary and adjunctive therapy. Glaucoma specialists in the US report an average of 1.4 medications per patient. Rates vary globally, but the medication burden is high for most glaucoma patients.

Medication compliance is also an issue as many patients fail to use prescribed medications according to instructions. When a patient is not compliant, ophthalmologists will generally select an alternative surgical therapy. However, these alternatives are not always effective, and some glaucoma surgeries have high rates of complications. Sustained-release products are on the horizon, and these offer promise for a nonsurgical intervention.

Market Competitors: Three major competitors account for more than 75 percent of market revenues. Alcon and Allergan are the leaders, with each having more than 30 percent of the market. Some competitors have strong market positions in regional markets—Santen in Japan and Sun Pharmaceuticals in India—while others play significantly smaller roles.
Bausch + Lomb (Valeant Pharmaceuticals) currently plays a minor role in the glaucoma market, but the company is close to gaining regulatory approval of a new combo product (Vesneo) that promises to capture a larger market share.

The Development Pipeline: Market Scope has identified at least 30 compounds or technologies in development for the treatment of glaucoma. These include seven novel treatments now or recently in Phase III trials in various parts of the world. Additional investigational agents with novel mechanisms of action are among the earlier-stage projects.
Drug delivery is another area of development that has the potential for significant impact on the market.

Market Scope is pleased to announce the availability of its “2016 Glaucoma Pharmaceuticals Report.” The report is in its third edition. Click the following link: 2016 Glaucoma Pharmaceuticals Report to view a detailed description and table of contents for this report or call (314) 835-0600 for more information.

2016 Glaucoma Pharma Press Release

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