Addiction Risk of Opioid Pain Management Therapeutics a Major Roadblock for Global Market

In the 2012-2018 period, the global pain management therapeutics market will be on a decline, says a market study carried out Transparency Market Research. The patent expiration of some of the blockbuster drugs such as Lyrica of Pfizer Inc. and Cymbalta of Eli Lilly & Co. is the reason for this. This, however, has been beneficial for manufacturers of generic drugs, as they have got the opportunity to launch their own formulations. 

Nevertheless, due to the extreme reduction in the revenue contribution of blockbuster drugs and loss of marketing exclusivity of these drugs, the overall market for pain management therapeutics has been adversely affected. Currently, the pain management therapeutics market is devoid of novel formulations, which has been a significant reason for the stagnation of this market.

What is Pain and what are its Health Implications?

Pain management involves alleviating pain with the aim to improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from severe or chronic pain conditions. Pain has a debilitating effect on individuals and results in loss of productivity, which in turn elevates the healthcare expenditure apportioned for pain management in a nation.  

Pain usually occurs due to tissue damage or damage to other body components, the severity of the same differing according to the condition’s severity. Usually observed in a pattern, pain is classified as per the affected body part and its duration at every cycle. Presently, the methods available for pain management are physiotherapy, chiropractor therapy, and other minimally invasive procedures; however, it is pharmaceuticals such as analgesics and painkillers that are the first line of treatment that physicians adhere to.

Drugs that are used for pain management fall in one of these therapeutic drug classes: anticonvulsants, opioids, anti-migraine agents, antidepressants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and others. In 2011, the NSAIDS therapeutic class contributed the highest revenue to the global pain management therapeutic market, as this segment comprises some of the most commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and diclofenac. 

Opioid Analgesics Reported for Addiction Issues among Americans

In the latest health tracking poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 56% Americans reported to have a personal connection with prescription opioid analgesic abuse because someone known to them took opioid analgesic without prescription, they themselves or someone they knew was addicted to these drugs, or because someone known to them had died due an overdose.    

Currently, the U.S. is in the midst of a drug overdose epidemic, a factor that has caused death rates to increase five-fold since 1980, so much so that by 2009, the number of deaths due to drug overdose outnumbered the ones due to motor vehicle crashes. Prescription drugs such as opioid analgesics have been responsible for a significant part of these mishaps. To curb the misuse of pain management therapeutics, the consensus largely is to have a number of strategies in place that would be effective cumulatively for – providing treatment for individuals that are addicted, monitor doctors’ prescribing habits, initiating education and public awareness programs, training doctors about the appropriate use of painkillers, and encouraging people to dispose of any extra medication once their medical need was over.


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