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Women's health therapeutics market backed by a strong pipeline expected to drive growth

Industry Sector

Healthcare and Medical


14 November 2012


Mike King

Type of News


The women's health therapeutics market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.7% over the next six years, with the industry set to rise from a valuation of $18.8 billion in 2011 to record a sales value of $22.7 billion in 2018.

Owing to several factors such as the publication of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study results, and a lack of effective therapeutics, the women's health therapeutics market grew only moderately between 2002 and 2010. However, the launch of novel therapeutics in the near future is expected to satisfy the unmet need in the market. This will have a pronounced effect on positive growth in the menopause therapeutics market.

The ageing population is driving the menopause therapeutics market, as menopausal symptoms often emerge after the age of 50, with indications such as hot flashes affecting up to 85% of menopausal women. As the population grows older, the number of postmenopausal women will increase.

The menopause therapeutics market is currently dominated by hormone therapies with highly questionable safety profiles. Patients as well as physicians are often reluctant to try hormone therapy as the first line treatment for menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis, as a result of studies such as the WHI Memory Study (WHIMS), the Estrogen Replacement and Atherosclerosis (ERA) study, and the Million Women Study, which have all raised concerns over the safety profile of hormone treatment (HT). Results suggested that hormone treatment (HT) was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, venous thromboembolism and stroke.

The women's health therapeutics market is backed by a strong pipeline which is expected to drive the growth of this market. Major players such as Pfizer, Inc. and Merck & Co., Inc. have attractive pipelines with many first-in-class molecules for the treatment of the menopause, osteoporosis and endometriosis. If approved, a trend shift in the treatment pattern will be seen, particularly in the menopause and osteoporosis markets.

With a strong line-up of first-in-class molecules in late stages of clinical development such as Pristiq (desvenlafaxine), Aprela (bazedoxifene/conjugated estrogens), Menerba (MF101) and Elagolix (NBI-56418). In addition, the recent launch of potential blockbuster drugs such as Prolia (denosumab) for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis will offset the patent expirations of several major drugs, including Fosamax (alendronate sodium), Boniva (ibandronate sodium) and Actonel (risedronate sodium). The women's health therapeutics market is an attractive market with huge opportunities for novel entrants with high safety and efficacy profiles.

The women's health therapeutics market R&D pipeline shows promising molecules. The current treatment options for women's disorders are limited due to lack of safety. The unmet need in the women's disorders market is attracting the pharmaceutical companies to invest in R&D programs. Increased focus is seen on therapy areas such as menopause, female sexual dysfunction and infertility.

Strategic consolidations help a company to enter a new market or consolidate its position in the market. The majority (85%) of the merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in the women's health therapeutics market were worth less than $1,000m. Abbott will gain full control of two drugs Tricor (fenofibrate) and Trilipix (fenofibric acid), for treating cholesterol and triglycerides.

For more information on the women's health therapeutics market, see the latest research: Women's Health Therapeutics Market

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