The first line of treatment in pain management usually involves the use of pharmaceuticals from various therapeutic classes such as antidepressants, opioids, NSAIDs, anticonvulsants, anesthetics, and other non-narcotic analgesics. Anticonvulsants, also known as antiepileptic drugs, were developed primarily for the treatment of epileptic seizures. However, leading anticonvulsant drugs such as Lyrica (pregabalin) and Neurontin (gabapentin) have also been approved for the management of various pain indications including fibromyalgia, migraine and neuropathic pain. These approvals are responsible for the increasing importance of anticonvulsants in the management of various pain indications. The overall market for anticonvulsants is highly genericized; however, the market for anticonvulsants for pain management application is dominated by Lyrica, the only branded pharmaceutical among the currently marketed drugs.
Of the major anticonvulsant drugs currently marketed, Lyrica (pregabalin), Neurontin (gabapentin), Topamax (topiramate), Depakote (divalproex), and Carbatrol/Tegretol (carbamazepine) are indicated for management of various types of pain. In 2012, Lyrica registered sales of US$ 5,111 Mn, of which 74% constituted revenue from its pain management indication. Since all the other molecules are generic and have negligible contribution in the pain management application, the market will be driven and dominated by the sales of existing blockbuster drug Lyrica, which constituted 73.4% share of the total market in 2011. The drug was initially set to lose its patent exclusivity in 2015, which would have negatively impacted the market rendering it completely generic. However, Pfizer has obtained market exclusivity for the drug and its use in pain management through to 2018, and is therefore expected to maintain its leadership position.
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Rising prevalence of epilepsy is the key driver of the anticonsultants drug market. Anticonvulsants drug is not only consumed in case of epileptic seizures, but also for pain management in migraine, and fibromyalgia. This boosts the anticonvulsants drug market. Availability of alternative options for pain management acts as a major restraint of the market. Other pain management methods include the use of medical devices such as analgesic pumps and minimally invasive procedures such as denervation or rhizotomy. Pain management implants and devices such as neuromodulators are gaining market acceptance among medical professionals, while acupuncture and acupressure are world-renowned pain relief techniques along with physiotherapy that people adopt. Other devices included in pain relief are transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) that delivers mild shocks to nerves in order to block pain messages to the brain. Hence, competition in the market from other improved pain management methods, devices, and other drugs can also hamper the anticonvulsants drug market. The anticonvulsants drug market has been segmented based on therapeutic class, disease indication, formulation, distribution channel, and region.
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In terms of region, the anticonvulsants drug market has been classified into Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, North America, and Latin America. Key players in the anticonvulsant drug market are Abbott Laboratories, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., Novartis AG, Pfizer, Inc., Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., Sanofi, UCB, Shire plc., and Astrazeneca plc.
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