Limitations of Chemotherapy Regimes Coupled with Increasing Incidence of Cancer is Driving Uptake of Cancer Support Therapies

18-Nov-2010 - United Kingdom

Stringent regulatory requirements are delaying the launch of critical drugs in the oncology market. Moreover, premium pricing of products and reimbursement issues are curtailing the growth of this market. However, given the wide range of side effects that result due to cancer chemotherapy regimes, there are several different types of support therapies that can be applied to improve patients’ quality of life. This situation is opening up considerable growth opportunities for cancer support therapies.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, European Cancer Support Therapies Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $7,831 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $8201.7 million in 2016. The anticipated rise in revenues is due to the increased focus of healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies on improving patients’ quality of life. The following segments are covered in this research: bisphosphonates, anti-emetics and growth factors.

“The side effects of existing chemotherapy regimes and the rising incidence of a number of cancers is driving the uptake of cancer support therapies,” notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Ranjith Gopinathan. “Current chemotherapeutic agents are highly cytotoxic, and destroy not only cancerous cells but also affect a number of healthy cells in the process. This causes a range of side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, anemia and infections, which – as a consequence – has a considerable effect on the patients’ quality of life.”

To deal with the side effects, current cancer treatment strategies entail the use of high-intensity chemotherapy coupled with optimum doses of support therapies. However, the premium pricing of products, reimbursement issues and inadequate training of medical professionals in the usage of cancer support therapies are dampening market prospects.

“Several patients who might require support therapies are just not in a position to afford them,” remarks Gopinathan. “Although reimbursement structures across Europe vary, except for Scandinavia, almost all western European countries include a significantly high component of patient co-payment. This is an increasing burden, which will hopefully be addressed in the future.”

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