Rheumatoid arthritis treatment aims to alleviate joint pain and swelling, slow or halt disease progression and minimize joint damage. Drugs used for treatment include disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologics that suppress or modulate the immune system. DMARDs include methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine. Biologics comprise tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors such as infliximab and etanercept. Other therapies include corticosteroids that relieve inflammation. Nonpharmacologic treatments involve physical and occupational therapy to improve mobility and joint protection.
Market key trends:
Increased research funding for rheumatoid arthritis drug development is expected to drive market growth. For instance, in 2018, the U.S. National Institutes of Health invested over $200 million toward rheumatoid arthritis research. Ongoing clinical trials are evaluating new targeted therapies that block cytokines like interleukin-6 or B-cell activating factor. Emerging therapeutic approaches involving gene therapy and stem cell transplantation also hold promise. Precision medicine using biomarkers to predict treatment response will enable customized treatment protocols. Furthermore, combination biologic therapies may offer improved efficacy over monotherapy.
Threat of new entrants: The threat of new entrants in the rheumatoid arthritis treatment market is low given the long development times, high costs of R&D and regulatory approvals required to enter this market.
Bargaining power of buyers: The bargaining power of buyers is moderate as there are a large number of branded as well as generic drugs available for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Bargaining power of suppliers: The bargaining power of suppliers is low due to presence of a large number of suppliers and raw material providers in the market.
Threat of new substitutes: The threat of new substitutes is moderate as research is being carried out to develop more efficacious and safer drugs.
Competitive rivalry: high as the market is dominated by large pharmaceutical companies.
The global rheumatoid arthritis treatment market is expected to witness high growth, exhibiting CAGR of 5.4% over the forecast period, due to increasing geriatric population and growing prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis.
On the regional front, North America is expected to dominate the global market aided by the availability of reimbursement for rheumatoid arthritis drugs and initiatives by public and private organizations to raise awareness about the condition in the region. Europe is also expected to hold a significant share in the global market owing to rising geriatric population suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Key players operating in the rheumatoid arthritis treatment market are AbbVie Incorporation, Amgen Corporation, Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Cipla, Inc., Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Norbrook Laboratories Ltd., Roxane Laboratories Inc, Pfizer Inc., Sanofi SA, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Sobi Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Majority of the companies are focusing on strengthening their product portfolio by developing novel therapeutics to target new pathways of treatment and gaining benefits of first-mover advantage.