The drug industry is facing an unprecedented level of challenges, threatening to crumble even the largest of players. Oral deliveries remain the dominant mode of drug delivery. But with a flagging pipeline, looming patent expiries, and increasing competition from new entrants, device delivery technologies offer new potential to boost safety, efficacy, and sales of today’s top-selling drug products
Currently, $124 billion worth of top-selling drugs rely on devices for delivery, but with innovation increasing in the sector, close to half of these drugs are eligible for an upgrade. With $55 billion currently at stake via basic delivery devices, and billions more up for grabs as orally delivered drugs face a patent meltdown, the advanced drug-delivery-device sector looks increasingly inviting to drug-makers.
This week’s graphic comes from a recent report, in which Lux Research surveys the landscape of top-selling drugs facing patent expiration that are currently not device-enabled or are delivered only by basic devices.
It is difficult for device technologies to compete against oral-based delivery, which comprises the majority of device-based alternatives, on convenience or cost. So other factors become paramount, such as localizing exposure to reduce side effects, increase efficiency, or improve compliance with electronic enablement (e.g. alarms).
As the graphic shows, 64 percent of products delivered without devices or with basic devices – accounting for $127 billion worth of revenues in 2011 – will face patent expiry within these five years. More advanced versions of delivery devices, with their high manipulability and potential to address delivery issues will provide technical as well as consumer value, presenting an optimistic route for the life-cycle extension of products facing patent expiry. This is especially true amidst the trend of increasing patient-centric healthcare. It behooves pharmas, generics, and biotechs, as well as biosimilar producers (with the latter two producing biologics and essentially depending on devices for delivery) to explore delivery technologies to enhance their drug product value. Delivery technologies will help them keep pace with the changing demands of their end users, and potentially rescue and rejuvenate revenue potential.
Source: Lux Research report “Making Space for Innovation in Drug-delivery Devices.”