Hepatitis C market set for slump as cure rates rise

pharmafile | February 14, 2017 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Medical Communications, Sales and Marketing Gilead, hepatitis C 

Objectively, it is the pharmaceutical industries intention to find cures for diseases and to aid patients to live a full life – the hepatitis C market has been so successful in this aim that it now threatens its own existence. The latest report from GlobalData suggests that the hep C market is set to decline and the primary reason for the decline in sales is because cure rates of hep C are so high and so successful.

The report projects that the hep C market will fall from $21.7 billion, in 2015, to $17.5 billion by 2025. This is due to falling sales across the major markets of the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Japan, Brazil, and China. The latest treatments, such as the controversial Harvoni (one of the most expensive treatments in the world), have a cure rate of around 94% of patients and therefore, in future generations, there won’t be much of a market left to sell the medicines to.

Currently, the largest market for direct-acting antivirals (DAA) was the US, as it boasts over 60% of the market yet that figure is set to reduce to 48% of sales by 2025. This fall in proportion of sales will shift to Europe, with the market increasing there from 20%, 2015, to 25%, by 2025.

Mirco Junker, Ph.D., Healthcare Analyst for GlobalData, notes: “The introduction of multiple pan-genotypic DAA therapy alternatives has the potential to significantly improve on current treatment algorithms by reducing the complexity of treatment recommendations, by shortening treatment duration, and by offering excellent efficacy and safety profiles for a broad spectrum of hepatitis C virus genotypes.”

It is refreshing to hear of the positive impact that R&D conducted by pharmaceutical and biotech companies, in their ability to massively reduce the incidence of certain viruses – though that may come as cold comfort to the shareholders in companies selling such treatments.

Ben Hargreaves

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