Global medical marijuana market set to reach US$3.2bn by 2025, says GlobalData

Marketed and approved medical marijuana products generated sales of at least $50m across the US, the 5EU*, Canada, Israel and Australia in 2018. The actual value of this market is expected to be far greater, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 81.3% to reach $3.2bn by 2025, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s report, ‘Thematic Research: Medical Marijuana’, reveals that there are 11 medical marijuana products in late-stage clinical trials. Drug candidates Zygel (cannabidiol) and lenabasum are being developed by US biopharmaceutical companies Zynerba Pharma and Corbus Pharma, respectively, and are expected to launch in the US and 5EU markets in 2021.

Magdalene Crabbe, Pharmaceutical Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Both Zygel and lenabasum were granted fast track and orphan drug designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and are expected to generate sales of $417m and $771m in 2025, respectively.

Contributing to the high sales figures for these late-stage pipeline agents is the fact that Zygel and lenabasum are both being developed to treat multiple disorders from a variety of therapy areas, including genetic disorders, musculoskeletal conditions and autoimmune diseases.”

Crabbe continues: “A lot of these patients are children that have a poor quality of life, so the need for effective medicines is urgent. Products entering the market are likely to be well received, especially if there are no psychological side effects, which is a common concern of prescribing physicians and patients alike.”

Many of the medical marijuana products in development contain non-psychoactive compounds; a research and development (R&D) strategy designed to position drug candidates favorably when companies apply for marketing authorization from bodies such as the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Crabbe adds: “Aside from the promising prospects for late-stage drug candidates, marketed therapies such as GW Pharma’s Epidiolex (cannabidiol) will significantly drive market growth. The impact of Epidiolex has been immense. The drug, which generated sales of $4.7m in 2018, is expected to reach annual sales of $1.9bn by 2025.

“However, unmet needs such as the expensive cost of therapy, the lack of data to support the use of medical marijuana and confusing or non-existent treatment guidelines leave some doctors reluctant to prescribe these products. These factors among others will continue to be obstacles in the medical marijuana marketplace throughout the foreseeable future.”

*5EU: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK

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