Thursday, 19 May 2011

Money, Money, Money!

It is forecast that the market dealing with neuropathic pain will be 5.2 billion dollars by 2018! This statistic comes from:

Research and Markets: Forecast Insight: Neuropathic Pain - Brighter Future for Pipeline Drugs with Market to Double in Value to $5.2 billion
(a press release from Datamonitor, dated Monday, February 15, 2010)

The neuropathic pain market is based on the seven major markets (US, Japan, and the five major European countries, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK).
It is foreseen that the US will provide the greatest increase in 'consumption' over this period but both Japan and Europe will generate double-digit compound annual growth rates over the same timeframe!

The market seems to be booming and this suggests one of three things:
1) The number of patients identified as having neuropathic problems is increasing;
2) The disease itself is becoming more widespread; or
3) The pharmaceutical companies have sniffed out a new big thing and are preparing to cash in!
It could of course be a combination of all those things but as patients, we can only hope that it means that more money is being invested in research so that more effective treatments can be brought onto the market. After that, we have to hope that the insurance companies willingly certify the drugs so that they are available to all and the health professionals keep up the pressure.
It remains a partially 'hidden' disease despite the ever-increasing numbers of patients in all countries. It is, for HIV patients, somewhat fortunate then that this research and development growth is a by-product of the increase in numbers of diabetics in the western world, who then go on to develop neuropathy and by definition increase the need for effective treatment. We hang onto the coat tails so to speak but will benefit from the increased publicity given to neuropathy and thus the greater likelihood that new medications will arrive.
However, one thing is clear; it is a market economy and progress will be made only if the drug companies see a clear profit in it. The 100+ causes and myriad variations of neuropathy don't help - like anything in the 21st century, if it ain't cool, it ain't gonna happen! I wouldn't wish neuropathy on anyone but Bill Gates, if you're listening and if you ever have the misfortune to develop are the greatest philanthropist of our age and a famous supporter of HIV related issues.

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