Opioids Market to 2017 - Steady Uptake of Oxycontin and High Incidence Of Diseases Such As Cancer And Arthritis to Drive the Market

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Opioids Remain The Mainstay of Chronic Pain Treatment

Pain is a disabling symptom that can occur at any point in the course of an illness. Since pain considerably affects day to day life, its management offers considerable challenge for physicians. Inadequate pain control remains a major problem across the world. Pain relief medications are dominated by NSAIDs followed by opioids. Long acting opioids are used in the relief of moderate to severe pain which require treatment for several days. Oral Long Acting Opioids (LAOs) are also an option to treat acute pain in non-dependant patients. Opioids are prescribed when pain cannot be adequately controlled with an NSAID.

All NSAIDs/Cox-2 inhibitors have cardiovascular and renal side-effects, and the older NSAIDs have severe gastrointestinal ones too. Therefore in cases of acute and chronic opioids continue to be the mainstay of therapy. However, this market is struggling to generate sales growth against a background of weak pipelines and generic competition.

In 2010, the global opioids market was approximately $11.2 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.4% between 2002 and 2010. By 2017, the global opioids market is forecast to reach $13.2 billion, indicating a CAGR of 2.8% between 2010 and 2017. The market for pain management drugs is focused on enhancement of available dugs with the development of extended release formulations and drug combinations.


In an effort to minimize the risk of misuse, abuse, addiction and overdose opioids are made available through a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program. In order to ensure that the benefits of the drugs outweigh the risks of use in patients, the FDA had notified opioid drug manufacturers to have REMS. Under this program, pharmacies, distributors, and medical care providers who prescribe to outpatients are required to enroll in the program to prescribe, dispense and distribute opioid drugs. FDA has standardized key components of the REMS program (including REMS document, Patient-Prescriber Agreement, and enrollment form) to allow the adoption of a single shared system. FDA has also directed the sponsors of this opioid class of products to work together on a single shared system to implement the REMS.

The affected opioid drugs include brand and generic products formulated with the active ingredients fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone and oxymorphone. Key brands affected by REMS include: Duragesic- Ortho-McNeil Janssen, Dolphine- Roxane, Avinza - King Pharmaceuticals, Kadian - Actavis; MS Contin - Purdue Pharma; Oramorph SR- Xanodyne Pharma; OxyContin - Purdue Pharma; Opana ER - Endo Pharma.

Branded Generics Play a Major Role

Several Long Acting opioids are being offered as ‘branded generics’, which refer to a generic product that has been developed into a new formulation. Due to its new formulation, such products are being marketed as branded drugs. Usually modified release strong opioids offered by generic production companies are considered to be ‘branded generics’ as they have no generic preparations available.

ER morphine, ER oxymorphone, CR (controlled release) oxycodone, ER transdermal fentanyl, among the extended release opioid analgesics that are effective in relieving pain.

ER morphine: This targets the treatment of moderate to severe chronic pain in certain patients. The main aim of taking this drug is a continuous pain relief and significant improvement in quality of life.

ER oxymorphone: This provides effective pain relief and functional improvement in patients with chronic pain. More than 80% of the patients find this medication to be effective.

CR oxycodone: This is effective in reducing pain caused by various pain indications and thereby improving quality of life. However, oxycodone is the drug associated with drug abuse cases.

ER transdermal fentanyl: This medication is prescribed to patients who are already receiving opioid treatment and have demonstrated opioid tolerance. It is effective for relieving moderate to severe pain.

Novel Drug Delivery Techniques Push Opioid Usage

New drug delivery techniques have augmented traditional intravenous and oral routes of administration of opioids to enhance patients' relief of pain. The plethora of drugs and delivery techniques has produced numerous combinations of drug selection, route of administration, and effective dose.

Advances in drug delivery techniques have opened the door for administering multiple additional opioids and other compounds to provide analgesia. New opioid delivery techniques include intravenous infusions, patient-controlled dispensing systems (using various routes of administration), time-release transdermal skin patches, oral transmucosal preparations (lozenges, tablets, and films), nasal sprays, and inhaled aerosols in addition to delivery through the intrathecal and epidural spaces.

By administering opioids intrathecally, the analgesic dose can be considerably reduced than given intravenously and thereby avoid many of the adverse effects. The most immediate opioid adverse effect is respiratory depression.

GBI Research, the leading business intelligence provider, has released its latest research, “Opioids Market to 2017 - Steady Uptake of Oxycontin and High Incidence Of Diseases Such As Cancer And Arthritis to Drive the Market”, which provides insights into global Opioids market and market forecast until 2017.

Report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research and in-house analysis by GBI Research’s team of industry experts.

The report provides an in-depth analysis of the top five therapeutic indications for which often opioids are prescribed which includes fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, osteoarthritis pain, rheumatoid arthritis pain, low back pain and post operative pain. The report also examines the global opioids treatment usage patterns for the covered indication. In addition, the report also includes insights into the opioids R&D pipeline.

To purchase the report or for further information go to:


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