More than 350,000 people in the United States alone live every day of their lives with Multiple Sclerosis. The Multiple Sclerosis Medicines they choose becomes as much a part of their life as eating and sleeping. For many decades now, the available Multiple Sclerosis Medicines have been not much more than re-inventions of old drugs, with pretty much the same results for patients as the drugs they replace. While the costs have gone up and the choices of drug names have expanded, relief for the patient really hasn’t improved all that much. But in recent years, new MS medicines have started to look at fresh approaches to treating MS that go beyond just treating symptoms and trying to reduce relapse rates.
The first breakthrough came several years ago, with FDA approval of the first oral MS Medicines. Since that first oral drug approval, MS medicines seem to be improving at an exponentially faster rate. Four new MS Medicines (all oral) will help drive sales of Multiple Sclerosis medicines from $8.9 to $11.5 billion dollars in less than five years in only seven countries. After some of the drugs lose their respective patents, the sales will drop slightly to about $10.6 Billion in 2020.
Drugs to modify the course of your MS are the main thrust in new MS medicines
The new high priced premium Multiple Sclerosis medicines are focusing in on disease modifying therapies. In a nutshell, the DMT class of MS medicines is attempting to alter the progression of the disease, instead of just treating the symptoms. It should be noted that none of the drugs purport a cure, but they are different in their action than just relieving the symptoms (which remains important). Oral medicines alone are expected to bring in 29 percent of the sales of all Multiple Sclerosis medicines by 2020.
Novartis/Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma’s first to be approved oral agent Gilenya, and Biogen Idec’s new MS medicine therapy BG-12 have each achieved near superstar sales status because of better than expected efficacy, convenience and patient-acceptable side effects. Not quite as effective, and late to the party, new MS medicines in oral form are Teva/Active Biotech’s laquinimod and Sanofi’s Aubagio, are each forecast to reach sales approaching a half billion dollars.
Individualized treatment is the future of Multiple Sclerosis medicines
All of the new MS agents in trial are trying to fill what seems to be a demand in disease modifying individualized alternative drug treatment. Trials of Fingolimod and Ocrelizumab to treat primary-progressive MS have not shown promising results yet. Any of the companies making a breakthrough in this area will profit handsomely, and at the same time serve a hungry market in this MS patient sub group. Stay Tuned. Like all technology, the pharma- group is expanding fast, especially in the area of new MS medicines, new developments are coming so fast it is hard for the medical field to keep up!