Anti-obesity Drug Market Gaining Weight
The anti-obesity drug market’s waistline, says GBI Research, is expanding and expected to increase from $750 million in 2012 to $2.6 billion in 2019, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.7%. According to GBI Research’s latest report, the forecast growth can be attributed to the anticipated performance of recently-approved Qsymia, a drug now proven to be effective for the long-term treatment of obesity. However, the commercial success of Qsymia is dependent on it being proven safe and remaining on the market — a trend, says GBI that has not historically been associated with this class of drugs. So while the market is set fatten, GBI Research posits the small number of therapeutics in late-stage development will limit growth well below the market’s potential.
Only 3% of the obesity drug pipeline is currently in late-stage of development, with just one drug candidate in the pre-registration level and two in Phase III. This limits the number of drugs with the potential to be approved, as well as market growth. Katie Noon, GBI Research’s Analyst covering the pharmaceutical industry, says: “The global prevalence of obesity and overweight cases is very high, but only a small percentage of obese patients are treated with pharmacotherapy. This may be a result of several factors, such as the limited efficacy of currently available drugs, and the general unfavorable opinion among physicians and patients of anti-obesity drugs due to their side effects.”
GBI Research believes that for anti-obesity drugs to maximize their market potential and revenues, products will have to prove that they adhere to the efficacy requirements of governing bodies and that they demonstrate their long-term safety. However, it might take many years for the stigma attached to anti-obesity drugs to change among patients and healthcare professionals.