The human endocrine system comprises number of glands such as thyroid, pituitary, parathyroid, pineal, pancreas, parathyroid, thymus, and gonads. These glands secrete hormones (enzymes that regulate the various activities of the body) into the blood which are responsible for metabolism, growth, sexual development and other body functions.
Endocrinology drugs are used for the treatment of diseases related with insufficient hormones supply and dysfunctional glands. Various diseases related with endocrine system are Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, goiter, diabetes, gigantism, hypertension, acromegaly, hyperlipidemia, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), osteomalacia and thyroiditis. The study of endocrinology has become one of the most essential aspects in the medical science owing to rising prevalence of diseases associated with endocrine glands.
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The global market for endocrinology drugs are divided into segments such as diabetes market, growth hormone market, acromegaly market and hypogonadism market. The market for diabetes is experiencing tremendous growth under the influence of rapidly increasing prevalence of diabetes worldwide. According to statistics of International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), in 2013, the global population diagnosed with diabetes was around 355 million, and is anticipated to grow to reach 592 million by the end of 2035. Such rapid prevalence of diabetes fuels the growth of diabetes market. Inception of new drug delivery for growth hormone and rising cases of end stage renal disease (ESRD), cancer, along with rise in disposable income are factors that drive the market for human growth hormone. On the other hand off label uses of human growth hormone (HGH) for body building, anti-aging and in sports are posing a challenge to the society not only because it is illegal but also because use of human growth hormone (HGH) is associated with high risk and side effects. Hypogonadism market comprises testosterone, estrogen and progesterone replacement therapy market. This segment will experience the growth due to increasing awareness about post menopausal hazards amongst women, awareness about testosterone amongst men. Extensive R&D is another important factor that propels growth of the market. As of 2013, there are around 180 new formulations under pipeline studies to treat diabetes, out of which, around 13 are waiting for approval from regulatory bodies.
Some of the major drugs in this market include flodrocortisone (Addison’s disease), corticotrophin (adrenocortical dysfunction), hydrocortisone (allergies), carbimazole (anti-thyroid drugs), insulin, metformin, Nateglinide (diabetes) and many others.
Recent years have witnessed many advances in the treatment of endocrine diseases such as introduction of new drugs and novel drug delivery methods. Recently FDA approved endocrinology drugs include Osphena (ospemifene) of Shiongi for the treatment of dyspareunia, and vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause, and Invokana (canagliflozin) of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Afrezza by MannKind Corporation for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Others include Brisdelle (low-dose paroxetine mesylate), Belviq (lorcaserin hydrochloride), Nesina (alogliptin), and Cometriq (cabozantinib). On the other hand, patent expiry, high cost of R&D and treatment and limited awareness for some of the endocrinology disorders are the major hurdles in the growth of this market. The market is expected to face expiration of many patent including Sandostatin, Lantus, and Norditropin that will boost generic manufactures. However, due to loss of revenue due to premium pricing of patented products, the market is expected to face challenges. Further, high cost of treatment and complicated reimbursement policies may create some hurdles in the growth of market.
Some of the key players operating in this market are Abbott Laboratories, Novartis International AG, Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk A/S, F. Hoffmann La Roche Ltd, Facet Biotech Corporation, Alacer Corporation, Sanofi and Pfizer Inc.