Acne Game-Changers Imperative to Countering Poor Patient Compliance

Author: Global data

Date: Sep 2013

Despite its considerable patient population, the acne treatment market has remained stagnant for the last decade, and a significant unmet need exists for single drugs or combination products that improve patient compliance while providing optimal efficacy, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

According to Dr Samantha Fernando, GlobalData’s Therapy Area Analyst covering Immunology, acne patient compliance is notoriously poor due to a significant burden of usage caused by the majority of acne topical drugs, typically requiring twice-daily application.

Fernando says: “The lack of dedicated research activity towards novel and more convenient acne treatments has been attributed to pharmaceutical companies viewing topicals — the mainstay of acne therapy — as too cheap, resulting in a subsequent poor return on their investment.

“What we are seeing instead is a trend with the reformulation of existing products and the formulation of fixed-dose combinations, as the multifaceted and chronic disease mechanism of acne means that two or more medications must be used both concurrently and long-term.”

Currently, the acne market is saturated with mainstay drugs that are over 30 years old. However, Galderma recently targeted the sizeable and untapped pediatric acne population by obtaining a label expansion for children under 12 years old for its combination product, Epiduo (benzoyl peroxide and adapalene) in 2013.

While the cost of developing further combination acne products is proving a colossal barrier to patient accessibility, Fernando believes it is crucial to weigh up this high cost against that of patients using multiple acne products, which are associated with decreased compliance.

“It is clear that a much-needed game-changer is still highly sought in this arena; but, in the meantime, the development of combination products that both simplify the treatment regimen of acne and improve patient compliance is imperative,” Fernando concludes.

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