Parkinson’s disease is a progressive movement disorder caused when dopamine producing nerve cells function irregularly. Dopamine regulates movement by sending signals to the brain and facilitates the smooth functioning of muscles. Some of the major symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include hand, arms or leg tremors, slow movement, problems associated with balancing and walking and stiff muscles. The fact that this disease is progressive in nature debilitates the patient’s condition and the later symptoms of Parkinson’s include trouble swallowing, constipation, fixed or blank expressions, dementia and speech disabilities.
The growing global prevalence of Parkinson’s disease is the primary growth driver of the global Parkinson’s disease therapeutics market owing to the fact the an increase in the prevalence of this disease directly widens the target population base for market players. According to the estimates of the WHO, the global prevalence of Parkinson’s disease was valued at over 10 million in 2012. Moreover, estimates suggest that almost one million Americans are currently living with this disease. Incidence rates of Parkinson’s disease increase with aging and the fact that the percentage of the world’s population above the age of 65 years will increase from 7% in 2000 to 16% in 2050 will serve this market as a driver. The introduction of alternative therapeutic options such as deep brain stimulation devices and the presence of high unmet medical needs in emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil will also have a positive impact on the market.
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The overall therapeutic market for Parkinson’s disease can be segmented into four major categories namely drug therapy, deep brain stimulation devices, ablative neurosurgery and others. The drug therapy segment currently dominates the market in terms of revenue share. Patent expiration of key drugs such as Novartis or Orion Pharma’s Comtan/Stalevo/Comtess and Teva Pharmaceuticals or Lundbeck’s Azilect/Agilect will have a negative impact on this product segment’s growth. However, the presence of a strong pipeline is expected to offset the revenue loss due to patent expirations. Some of the major products currently in pipeline include Impax Laboratories/GlaxoSmithKline’s IPX-066, Kyowa Hakko Kirin’s adenosine A2A receptor antagonist istradefylline and Merck Serono/EMD Serono/Newron Pharmaceuticals’ MAO-B inhibitor safinamide.
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