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Sales Of Opioids For Pain Expected To Jump To $18.4B Annually in the US By 2020

New Informa Pharma Intelligence “Snapshot of the Opioid Market” Charts Industry’s Journey Into Crisis


NEW YORK – July 11, 2017 – Informa Pharma Intelligence, the leading healthcare and pharmaceutical data and analysis firm, today released its “Snapshot of the Opioid Market.” The report and infographic chart the opioid industry’s journey into an $18.4B annual market1 in the US by 2020 and its attempts to combat the ongoing national crisis around opioid abuse.



Opioids: Past, Present, Future

Opioid prescriptions constitute more than half of the total prescription pain market, with Pfizer leading the industry in terms of R&D involvement in pain therapies.1 However, research shows the industry has been relatively slow to respond to the growing national crisis haunting the industry since OxyContin hit the market in 1995. According to the most recent CDC Data, opioid deaths have been steadily on the rise in the US since 1999.2





“At the same time the opioid market is expanding, deaths from opioid abuse are growing. The CDC estimates that more than 33,000 people died from opioid related causes in the US in 2015 alone. It’s been a fascinating development to see how the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry have reacted to a crisis it unfortunately had a hand in creating.” said Michael Hay, Head of Intelligence Products for Informa Pharma.



Charting the timeline of key drug approvals throughout the opioid crisis:


  • December 1995: OxyContin becomes the first long-acting opioid therapy available, widely marketed with a lower potential for abuse. The initial formula is eventually withdrawn from the market after its widespread promotion and availability make it the drug of choice for abuse in the US.1
  • December 1995 - July 2009: 10 major branded opioid therapies for pain are approved in the US, fueling the growing opioid crisis.1
  • August 2009: Embeda, a morphine product containing naltrexone components that biologically counteract abuse potential is the first Abuse Deterrent Formula (ADF) drug approved by the FDA for the market.1
  • April 2010: OxyContin receives approval of an abuse-deterrent formulation and undergoes a slow phase out of the older tablets. The specific label claim, however, is not awarded until 2013.1
  • October 2014: Embeda reenters the market with the addition of an anti-abuse label after being withdrawn in 2011.1
  • February 2016: The FDA revises and outlines its new strategy to combat the growing epidemic of opioid abuse in the US. The goal is to enforce an action plan that reduces abuse, while ensuring access for patients that genuinely need the relief.3  
  • 2017: Informa Pharma Intelligence’s Biomedtracker reports 12 new opioid drugs have been approved by the FDA since 2012.1
  • June 2017: The FDA comes down on Opana ER after widespread abuse and requests the company pull its drug from the market.4
  • June/July 2017: The FDA announces a two-day public meeting scheduled for July 2017 to determine if ADF opioids are having their intended impact by limiting abuse to curb the epidemic.5



Late stage clinical trial data reveals that R&D effort in opioids is being directed towards formulations with abuse-deterrent properties. There a currently 15 opioids with abuse-deterrent formulas in late stage development from pharmaceutical companies, including Teva Pharmaceuticals and Elite Pharmaceuticals.1



“Pushing for more ADF drugs has been a critical step towards curbing opioid abuse, while making sure the millions of people in need of pain medication have adequate access to the relief they need. However, how much this impacts the growing crisis remains to be seen as pharmaceutical companies pour more money into clinical trials and new finely tuned formulas over the next few years,” Hay, commented.



Professional Perspectives

Informa Pharma Intelligence’s Biomedtracker and SERMO surveyed 30 US primary care physicians treating patients with chronic pains that prescribe opioids to better understand first-hand how these controversial drugs are perceived. Findings suggest:


  • Half of the physicians surveyed think abuse-deterrent opioids will play no or only a slightly impactful role in combatting the opioids epidemic in the US.1
  • Half of the physicians prescribe opioids to just 0-20% of their patients to treat chronic pain.1 
  • The majority of physicians surveyed don’t know if legislation has been adopted in their state requiring that abuse-deterrent opioids be covered by insurers.1


If you’d like access to the full report from Informa Pharma or additional information on the growth of ADF opioid offerings, please reach out to


About Informa Pharma Intelligence


Informa Pharma Intelligence powers a full suite of analysis products - Datamonitor Healthcare, Sitetrove, Trialtrove, Pharmaprojects, Medtrack, Biomedtracker, Scrip, Pink Sheet and In Vivo – to deliver the data needed by the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry to make decisions and create real-world opportunities for growth.


With more than 500 analysts keeping their fingers on the pulse of the industry, no key disease, clinical trial, drug approval or R&D project isn’t covered through the breadth and depth of data available to customers.   


Informa Pharma Intelligence, is part of the wider Informa Business Intelligence brand that provides insight into six core industries - Pharma & Healthcare; Agribusiness & Commodities; Finance; Telecoms, Media & Technology; Maritime & Law; Infrastructure.


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For more information, please contact:

Allie Tedone/Danielle Cecchini
Diffusion PR
+1 646-571-0120




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