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Addison’s disease is a hormonal disorder characterized by inadequate secretion of certain hormones such as cortisol (glucocorticoid) and aldosterone (mineralocorticoid) by adrenal gland. Cortisol manages glucose level and is also helpful in suppressing immune response. Aldosterone regulates the sodium and potassium level in the body. This disease condition is also called as adrenal insufficiency and occurs in people of all age groups. Addison’s disease affects both sexes equally. In some cases it can be life threatening as well. This disease is mainly caused by damage to the adrenal cortex that may be due to autoimmune disorders including chronic thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, myasthenia gravis and pernicious anemia; infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV and fungal infections; tumor and hemorrhage into the adrenal gland. In major developed countries, tuberculosis has been identified as one of the major factors for Addison’s disease and accounts for nearly 20% of all adrenal insufficiency cases. Most common symptoms associated with this hormonal disorder include weight loss, tiredness, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, low blood pressure, paleness, chronic diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and darkening of the skin in some places.
Addison’s disease is usually diagnosed by a blood test (for potassium level, cortisol level and serum sodium) or CT scan. In some cases abdominal X-ray is also performed in order to confirm the illness. Its treatment involves the replacing of insufficient hormones with the laboratory developed hormones that mimic the functions of natural ones. Hydrocortisone tablet is given orally in order to replace cortisol while fludrocortisone acetate is recommended for aldosterone insufficiency. The market for Addison’s disease therapeutics is primarily dominated by generic drugs such as cortisone, fludrocortisones and prednisone whose patent exclusivity had expired since long.
The market for Addison’s disease therapeutics is expected to grow worldwide owing to globally rising incidence of Addison’s disease and rigorous research and development leading to introduction of new products. According to sources from Elsevier, Inc., the annual incidence rate of Addison’s disease has been found 5-6 per million of population while the prevalence rate is 40-110 per million of population. A recent epidemiological study indicates that the incidence of Addison’s disease is increasing year on year. In September 2012, ViroPharma, Inc. launched a novel drug called Plenadren in Denmark for treating adrenal insufficiency. This novel drug was granted a European marketing Authorization by the European Commission in November 2011. Denmark became the first country in the whole European Union to offer a new treatment option to people suffering from Addison’s disease in over the last 50 years. Increasing awareness among patients and physicians regarding the disease is also expected to play a key role in driving the market growth during the forthcoming years.
In terms of geography, the market for Addison’s disease therapeutics has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). Reimbursement of expenses related with the Addison’s disease treatment by Medicare and Medicaid in the United States is one of the major factors driving the market growth in the North American region. Also the fact that patients and physicians of this region being more aware than the patients and physicians of other regions is driving the market growth in the region. Some of the major research institutes and companies engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of drugs and injectables for the Addison’s disease treatment are University of Wurzburg, Aarhus University, Oregon Health and Science University, University Hospital Tubingen, Shire plc, DuoCort AB and HaEmek Medical Center.
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