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Jun 15, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 12)

The Rise of Short- and Rapid-Acting Opioids

Diverse Delivery Technologies Drive Sales in Cancer and Noncancer Breakthrough Pain

  • Local Marketing Companies

    ProStrakan recently launched Abstral in the EU. This will be competing with Cephalon’s Actiq and also its recently launched European Fentora brand Effentora. The entry of regional specialist companies in the EU will expand the potential of the short- and rapid-acting market in this region beyond that achieved by Cephalon to date. Experienced local speciality companies such as Meda, Nycomed (Instanyl), and ProStrakan will provide significantly more competition to Cephalon in Europe than in the U.S., fragmenting the European market; Datamonitor forecasts that the 5EU (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.) market will grow from around $80 million in 2008 to $402 million in 2018.

  • Market Saturation

    Serving a clear unmet need, the short- and rapid-acting opioids market is set to grow considerably over the next 10 years. Sales in the seven major pharmaceutical markets (U.S., Japan, and the 5EU) are set to reach $1.7 billion in 2018. Regionally strong marketing companies and diverse delivery technologies will help drive sales in both cancer and noncancer breakthrough pain. With a large number of short- and rapid-acting opioids in Phase III and Phase II development (over a dozen), saturation will limit the commercial potential of individual brands over the coming years.


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