The insulin market is set to explode over the next five years as uptake of insulin therapy is likely to increase with sufferers benefiting from heightened awareness and knowledge as well as the influx of affordable, innovative product solutions.
According to Frost and Sullivan the insulin market is at a growth stage, while the oral anti-diabetic market is in the mature phase. Current estimates place the diabetes market at of $2.8bn (€2.2bn) in 2005 and it is estimated that this is to reach $4.60bn in 2012.
Despite cost barriers, nascent non-invasive insulin delivery technologies are set to stimulate overall market growth. Novel oral drugs such as the dual PPAR agonists, currently in the pipeline, are poised to gain market share due their efficacy.
GlaxoSmithKline are one of the large pharma firms to engage in this class of drug. Glaxo`s compounds in development include the PPAR agonist 677954, which is in phase 2, and the PPAR pan agonist 625019, which is in phase 1.
"Technological advancements in the field of drug delivery have propelled scientists to research new and more convenient forms of insulin delivery," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Sylvia Miriyam Findlay.
"The subsequent emergence of newer methods of insulin delivery including inhaled insulin, oral insulin, transdermal insulin will eventually expand the insulin market."
Reimbursement limitations are currently restraining the uptake of these newer and more expensive forms of insulin. For instance, inhaled insulin and oral insulin are typically costlier than standard insulin vials and cartridges.
With reimbursement for insulin devices and novel forms of insulin still uncertain, the penetration of such novel insulin delivery forms across the European Union will constitute a difficult task.
"Pharmaceutical companies need to work towards empowering diabetic patients to more effectively self-manage their condition," said Findlay.
"They need to aggressively provide value-added services to enhance product differentiation, while promoting end-user familiarity with products."