RA treatments to reach $9.3 billion in U.S. by 2020


NEW YORK — The U.S. treatment market for rheumatoid arthritis is set to increase in value from $6.4 billion in 2013 to $9.3 billion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of 5.5%, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research in a release issued Wednesday.


This growth will be driven partly by the aging baby boomer. Consequently, the country will remain the largest RA therapeutics player of the eight major pharmaceutical markets (the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan) over the forecast period.


The entry of premium-priced, disease-modifying therapies into the RA treatment arena in the United States, along with new biosimilar products, will also be a contributing factor to its expansion, the report added. 


“While the patent expiration of blockbuster drugs as early as this year is expected to cause strong biosimilar uptake in the EU, thereby reducing the annual cost of therapy in this region, these products may not measurably affect the pricing of currently marketed RA treatments in the U.S.," noted Yasser Mushtaq, senior analyst for GBI Research. “Despite the fact that biosimilars are likely to be priced at a discount to their reference drug, the lack of regulatory guidelines for their approvals in the U.S. may deter drug manufactures from seeking marketing approval for these products.”


Mushtaq added that drug developers may be further discouraged by state legislation preventing clinicians from taking up biosimilar versions of their reference drugs. This will result in a stable annual cost of therapy for RA treatments in the U.S. over the forecast period.


“The U.S. had the highest [annual cost of therapy] of the eight major markets in 2013, with $5,983, reflecting the country’s higher drug costs in comparison with Canada and the EU. This figure is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.2% to reach $7,435 by 2020,” Mushtaq said. 


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