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Biotech Market Trends Study Shows New Competitive Dynamics and Increasing Reimbursement Hurdles

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Novel Health Strategies, LLC, a leading life sciences consulting firm announces the publication of  2010-2011 market trends study called 'What's fueling the biotech engine-2010 to 2011', in Nature Biotechnology. The published article is an analysis of sales, pricing, reimbursement trends and competitive dynamics of more than hundred specialty biologic products. This study highlights several emerging trends in the biotech sector:

Overall market trends:

  • Biotech sector growth outperformed the overall pharmaceutical sector, driven by continued double digit growth in sales of monoclonal antibodies and insulin products. 
  • During the past 12 months, several highly anticipated products reached the market. While some have met expectations, others are facing an uphill battle in gaining acceptance from payers and providers, due to an increased emphasis on controlling healthcare spending and comparative effectiveness.
  • Reimbursement for many of the biologics products is tightening, as more payers are shifting branded products to the specialty tier, increasing the co-pay/co-insurance for patients.
  • New and existing products are facing competition from novel mechanism-of-action small molecules, newer biologics and cheaper products.
  • New challenge for novel therapies is determining the appropriate comparator for pricing of those products. Case studies highlight increasing use of combination and/or sequential therapies, leading to high cost burden for payers and patients.
  • More manufacturers are using cost effectiveness analysis to demonstrate cost savings with their products, however, it is also leading to debate about assumptions and methodologies for such analyses.

Selected sector specific trends:

  • For oncology products, a major setback was the withdrawal of Avastin for metastatic breast cancer indication. The debate and controversy related to Avastin has brought to surface the issue of the value of surrogate endpoints such as progression-free survival for oncology products. As payers remove Avastin's reimbursement, the 'Avastin effect' may be felt by other branded cancer drugs.
  • Prostate cancer market saw launch of four new products, which has significantly raised the drug related cost per patient. Analysis shows that if a patient is treated by all new drugs (in various stages of treatment)—the total drug-related cost per patient would be $200,000–220,000 over one to two years. 
  • Erythropoietin stimulating factors (ESAs), which were once the highest selling class of biologics, decreased in sales by double digit rates. This decline was due to new FDA guidelines and implementation of new reimbursement payment bundling rule for dialysis centers. Biosimilar and novel ESAs in the pipeline could face higher pricing, reimbursement and uptake hurdles in the future. 
  • Auto-inflammation market experienced growth of high-single to double digit rates during 2006-2011. However, in the future, this market is likely to face competition from Janus kinase inhibitors, which with similar efficacy, oral dosing and potentially discount pricing, could be positioned as a cost effective option. 
  • Ophthalmology market is seeing new players, as several new products are reaching the market and are offering significant discount to the established players.  
  • Rare disease market is also seeing the effect of crowding, leading to price discounts and shift of market share to new products. 

For press related queries contact at The press conference conference details are available upon request.

About What's Fueling the Biotech Engine Series

This article is an annual and recurring series published in Nature Biotechnology since 2007. The article provides strategy view on clinical, sales, pricing, reimbursement, regulatory trends and competitive dynamics for more than hundred specialty biologics. This study is the result of five years of cumulative research, analyses and interviews with various stakeholders. This series has been cited and quoted by more than hundred peer-reviewed publications and agencies (FDA, EMA and others). More details about this research are available upon request. URL for the article

About Novel Health Strategies LLC

Novel Health Strategies, LLC ("Novel Health") is a team of experienced professionals with expertise in healthcare strategy, research, policy, publications,  health economics and outcomes research, modeling, and pricing and market access strategy. Novel Health team has led strategy projects for majority of top 50 pharmaceutical, biotech and device companies. Novel Health has large network of internal and external stakeholders and has published several thought leading strategy perspectives. Novel Health has presented industry trends and perspectives at ISPOR, AMCP and BIO meetings. Webpage

About The Author

Saurabh Aggarwal, PhD is a Principal at Novel Health Strategies. Mr. Aggarwal's expertise areas include pricing strategy, market access, HEOR, economic modeling and US/global strategy development. He has led strategy projects on several blockbuster oncology, infectious disease, inflammation, cardiovascular and rare disease products. Previously, he was at Sanford Bernstein, IMS Health and Parexel, where he led international and US based projects on drug and device products. Mr. Aggarwal has published several thought leading articles on healthcare market and is a frequent speaker at major conferences and meetings. He holds a PhD from The Johns Hopkins University, where he won multiple awards and patents for his work. 

Media Contact: Saurabh Aggarwal, PhD Novel Health Strategies, LLC, +1-6467174789,

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