Breast cancer market will expand substantially in Asia-Pacific to US$3.4bn by 2021, says GBI Research

Driven by ageing populations, changing lifestyle habits and the approval of new drugs

The breast cancer market in Asia-Pacific regions will expand from $1.9bn in 2014 to $3.4bn by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.5%, says market research firm GBI Research.

Growth will be driven by a number of factors, including ageing populations, changing lifestyle habits, improved survival rates, and the approval of new drugs to supplement current market leaders, the analyst says.

GBI's latest report, Breast Cancer Therapeutics in Asia-Pacific Markets to 2021 – Growth Driven by Increasing Uptake of Premium Priced Biologics and Rising Prevalence, states that the main growth will occur in India, China, Australia, and Japan.

Deekshita Allavarapu, Analyst for GBI Research, says popular drugs, such as Afinitor and Herceptin, will be used in conjunction with several promising breast cancer pipeline treatments. These include abemaciclib, buparlisib, LEE 011, olaparib, and Neuvax, all of which are expected to be approved by 2021 and have shown significant clinical benefit in trials.

'Such therapies are on the rise due to their increased use with chemotherapy. In addition, the effectiveness of targeted therapies has resulted in favourable reimbursement and increased uptake in Japan and Australia. This is in spite of the premium pricing of the drugs, which reflects the cost associated with their development and the significant therapeutic benefit offered,' adds Allavarapu.

But the analyst notes that in India and China, even after premium targeted treatments become available, only patients in the richer territories will be given these drugs, as patients in the poorer districts will not be able to afford them due to a lack of social insurance and inadequately publicly subsidised services.

GBI Research also states that applying for reimbursement for oncology drugs in Australia is becoming more difficult due to a time-consuming and complex regulatory and reimbursement process prior to access, which causes a substantial delay in patient access.

'These factors limit the uptake of premium-priced therapies, which somewhat restricts overall breast cancer market growth. Nonetheless, the sheer size of the APAC populations means that, even if a relatively small percentage of patients are eligible for treatment, there will be high levels of revenue,' says Allavaparu.