Following the news that OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma are being sued by three more US states for exploitation of the opioid crisis, Magdalene Crabbe, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on what this means for the opioid market:
“This is a crisis seemingly without end for Purdue Pharma. The financial burden on the business could be very significant if other states follow Oklahoma, California, Maine and Hawaii with legal action and whilst the company are absorbing the current settlement costs an ongoing waive of lawsuits could put their finances under severe pressure.
“Constant negative media coverage could also be bad for the company’s reputation as people become increasingly aware of the social impact of the opioid crisis in drug-related crimes, days off work and the problems that come with addiction including the healthcare costs of treating the disorder.
“With over 5.8 million problem opioid users worldwide, the economic impacts of the opioid crisis have been felt in the healthcare system, the workforce, and in law enforcement. According to GlobalData, the global opioid use disorder market was worth an estimated $1.8bn in 2017 and is expected to reach $4.8bn by 2027.
“The company’s sales could also be impacted as consumers gravitate towards different methods of pain relief with less addictive treatments likely taking some patient share from opioids in general. Factors such as affordability and rapid onset of therapeutic action will have a major role in deciding which medications will be favoured by patients and physicians alike.”