Forecast market for drugs and devices in obesity treatment

As the prevalence of obesity keeps rising and the direct and indirect costs mount become increasingly clear, the manufacturers of products for the clinical management of obesity — drugs and devices — are moving more products through the development and approval process to bring them to a market that, as a result, is forecast to grow dramatically over the next ten years.

A number of key events will take place during the forecast period that will serve to determine the size and course of various segments of the obesity market. We have projected their occurrence and likely impact, following extensive industry participant interviews, our knowledge of the market approval processes in the various countries and regions, advantages and disadvantages of the various products as derived from clinical trial reports, and the trends and practices of the various country- or region-specific regulatory agencies governing market approval, including, in particular, the recent practices of the FDA in 2010 regarding its reviews of applications for anti-obesity drugs to be marketed in the USA.

To say that the market for obesity products has been fluid recently is to understate the matter.  Products that have been highly anticipated to gain market approval have been denied. Products that have been approved and marketed for years have been withdrawn, sometimes globally and sometimes only in specific markets.  Products have suddenly gained approval (or suggestion of pending approval) to the surprise of those in the industry.

Simultaneously, while obesity is increasingly being addressed clinically, having gained recognition by payers for its morbidity, co-morbidities and their cumulative impact on healthcare costs, there remains a decidedly cosmetic aspect to patient demand, making it sensitive to economic variables that drive or limit the practice of obesity treatments being addressed through “out of pocket” payments. Hence, the global recession has served to restrict demand for obesity market growth, despite the many market drivers.

Consequently, the forecasted market for treatment of obesity will be comprised of a shifting balance among the various options, as illustrated in the chart below.

Global Market for Treatment of Obesity, 2009-2019

Note: Relative values only shown.  Absolute values ($US millions) provided in full in Report #S835.

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S835, “Products, Technologies and Markets Worldwide for the Clinical Management of Obesity, 2011-2019.”

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