Global market for inhaled drugs rapidly growing

As incidences of diseases such as COPD and asthma rise, so too does the global demand for inhaled drugs, especially those using innovative new delivery technologies

The Stock Radio has called attention to the rapidly growing demand for one particular type of treatment — inhaled drugs to treat pulmonary diseases.

‘Around the world, the incidences of diseases such as chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) and asthma are on the rise,’ explained Mark Marek, host of the Stock Radio. ‘That's boosting revenues for companies with existing billion-dollar inhaled drugs — and bringing important new opportunities for companies with innovative new approaches.’

The information compiled by the Stock Radio shows that three inhaled drugs are among the top 20 best-selling drugs worldwide.

GlaxoSmithKline's Advair bronchodilator for asthma and COPD is the top-selling inhaled drug, with $4.8bn in annual sales in the US, and $6.7bn globally, in 2014.

Next is Boehringer Ingelheim's Spiriva, which brought in $3.3bn in the US and $4.7bn globally, followed by Symbicort from AstraZeneca, with $2.2bn in US sales and $4.2bn worldwide.

The markets for these brand-name drugs and others are projected to grow rapidly during the next decade as the incidence of COPD and other diseases increases. Perhaps not surprisingly, there also is a large and growing market for generic competitors.

A recent report from Transparency Market Research forecasts that the global market for generic inhalation and nasal spray drugs will jump from $21.8bn in 2014 to $35.5bn by 2023.

Most exciting, however, is the development of innovative new approaches to improve the efficiency of delivering drugs to the lungs, Stock Radio's research shows. A new report by Grand View Research explains that ‘technological advancements such as particle engineering are expected to boost the market growth further.’

In particular, the new report states: ‘Dry powder inhalers are expected to be the fastest growing segment owing to factors such as advancements in formulating technology.’

Stock Radio's research has uncovered one specific example that illustrates all these trends. Generic drug giant Mylan is now working with a small Boston-based pharmaceutical company named Pulmatrix to develop a cobranded generic equivalent to Boehringer Ingelheim’s Spiriva, using a novel dry powder formulation developed by Pulmatrix that improves the efficiency of drug delivery.

Companies