A report recently published by Transparency Market Research (TMR), a US-based “provider of syndicated research, customized research, and consulting services,” presents a comprehensive overview of the current (2015 data) and projected (2024) pain management therapeutics landscape.1

According to this report, the market for Global Pain Management Therapeutics amounted to $60.2 trillion in 2015, and anticipated to grow beyond $83 trillion in 2024. Over 52% of the pain management drug market was represented in 2015 –and is projected to be sustained in 2024- by opioids (including oxycodones, hydrocodones, morphine, fentanyl, tramadol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and followed in descending order by anticonvulsants, antidepressants, anti-migraines and other non-narcotic analgesics.

The majority of those pain management prescriptions were prescribed for cancer-related pain (accounting for over 28% of the market), followed by arthritic pain, chronic back pain, post-operative pain and neuropathic pain.

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A growing prevalence of disorders associated with chronic pain, population aging and preference given by patients and policy-makers to drug-based treatments were identified by TMR as the main drivers of the pain management therapeutics market.

Conversely, upcoming patent expiries for some of leading pain drugs and subsequent arrival of generic versions of these drugs on the market are forecasted to affect the pain therapeutics landscape. “Major vendors will lose market share to emerging vendors such as Depomed, Inc. and AstraZeneca plc. and the competition in the generic drugs segment will further intensify,” stated a TMR analyst.

Depomed is increasingly presenting itself as a leader of the pain management therapeutic landscape, with a portfolio that includes Nucynta ER (tapentadol for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy-associated nociceptive and neuropathic pain), Gralise (gabapentin, for shingles-associated neuropathic pain) and Lazanda (fentanyl, for the management of breakthrough cancer pain).

Although Pfizer obtained an extension of its patent for Lyrica (pregabalin) indicated for the management of neuropathic pain and pain associated with fibromyalgia and migraine from 2015 to 2018, other patents, such as Purdue’s Butrans (buprenorophine) and Elan’s Prialt, both indicated for the management of severe pain, are due to expire at the end of 2016 and in September 2017, respectively.2

In addition to patent expiries, widespread abuse of opioid medications and growing recognition for the benefit of non-pharmacological approaches to pain management (eg, alternative therapies, medical devices and surgical procedures), are predicted to impact the pain management therapeutics market.


  1. Transparency Market Research report: “Pain Management Therapeutics Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2016 – 2023”. Accessible upon request at: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/sample/sample.php?flag=B&rep_id=1059. Accessed on August 18, 2016.
  2. Brand name drugs with patent expiries. Center Light Health System. Available at: http://www.centerlighthealthcare.org/images/uploads/Brand_Name_Drugs_with_Patent_Expirations_2013_-_2017.pdf. Accessed on August 18, 2016.