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Global opioid use disorder market to reach $3.7 bn by 2028: GlobalData

The main driver of growth will be the launch of reformulations of buprenorphine, in particular, extended-release formulations

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The opioid use disorder (OUD) market is expected to grow from $1.6 billion in 2018 to $3.7 billion by 2028 across the eight major markets (8MM*) at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8 per cent, according to GlobalData.

The company’s latest report, ‘Opioid Use Disorder-Opportunity Analysis and Forecasts to 2028’, reveals that the main driver of growth will be the launch of reformulations of buprenorphine, in particular extended-release formulations including Indivior’s Sublocade and Camurus’ Buvidal.

Philippa Salter, Neurology Analyst at GlobalData, comments, “Both Sublocade and Buvidal are long-lasting injectable buprenorphine reformulations targeting the same patient population and both are expected to experience strong uptake, becoming the market leaders by the end of the forecast period. Despite the experience of Indivior in the OUD market, Buvidal is expected to generate higher sales than Sublocade by 2028, with global sales of $1.3 billion and $1.1 billion in 2028, respectively. This is due to the perceived advantages that Buvidal has over Sublocade, including having a wider range of doses, the option of weekly and monthly doses and being better tolerated by patients.”

GlobalData’s report also identifies that given the availability of multiple effective treatment options for managing OUD, the key unmet needs revolve around the environmental unmet needs in the market. One of the most important unmet needs highlighted by key opinion leaders (KOLs) are the barriers that prevent patients from accessing treatment.

Salter explains, “The barriers that prevent patients from accessing treatment include the regulations and policies surrounding the prescription of opioid agonists, the lack of treatment centres and physicians in rural areas and the stigma that surrounds OUD patients and the treatment of addictions. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in the use of online consultations and telemedicine counselling, which should help to increase treatment access, particularly for those in rural areas.”

GlobalData’s report identified that a key development strategy seen in the early stage OUD pipeline is the development of drugs with novel mechanisms of action (MOA) that do not target opioid receptors.

Salter adds, “Drugs with novel MOAs would either aim to tackle the root of opioid addiction and act as a disease-modifying agent, or more likely, act as adjunctive therapy to opioid agonist treatment. However, these drugs are still in the early stages of development, so it is hard to know to what extent they will impact the OUD market in the future.”

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