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Can Pfizer rescue hormonal replacement therapy?

17 Nov 2010, by Informa Insights

Melbourne, 17th November 2010 – In a market still plagued with safety concerns, Pfizer has an opportunity to restore market growth for hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) with its new combination product, Aprela. To do this it must rebuild public and general practitioner confidence in the therapy area, says independent market analyst, Datamonitor*.

The value of the menopausal market has shown anaemic growth since the safety concerns raised by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study in 2002. Sales rose with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just 2.9% between 2005 and 2009, driven not by increasing prescriptions but by rising prices.

However, Datamonitor predicts that should Aprela reach the market and Pfizer invest in physician education and dispelling concerns over HRT among the general population, Aprela will reach sales of $207m in the seven major markets in 2019.

Maya Marescotti, healthcare analyst at Datamonitor, comments: “Pfizer has an opportunity to restore market growth with its new Phase III combination product Aprela (bazedoxifene and conjugated estrogens), which has shown in clinical trials to protect the endometrium and the breast from developing hyperplasia as well as relieving menopausal symptoms.”

“This may not be that easy though; there is already uncertainty regarding Aprela’s future due to ongoing developmental delays, possibly as a result of safety issues and Pfizer’s restructuring following the acquisition of Wyeth.”

With no prospect of an early change in attitudes though, Datamonitor suggests companies should focus on developing alternative treatments, as there is still unmet need in the menopausal symptoms treatment market. Miss Marescotti says”. Despite safety concerns, HRT remains the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms. For those who choose not to take HRT, there are very few other therapy options available to them. These women will therefore strongly welcome effective and safe alternatives.”

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