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Gut Gone Grotesque: An Overview of the Global IBS-C Drug Market

Emotional stress, lactose intolerance or generic allergic reactions to certain food items, indigestion or even consumption of particular medicines may activate Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is a chronic disease which is believed to be common enough to be afflicting almost 7 to 10 percent of the Western world population and is more common in females than the male counterpart. Based on predominant bowel movements, IBS is categorized into diarrhea (IBS-D), constipation (IBS-C), mixed type (IBS-M) and the unsubtyped (IBS-U).

IBS-C is characterized by acute abdominal pain, bloating and obvious problem faced during defecation. Since researchers haven’t been able to come up with a proper solution to the situation, doctors can only treat the symptoms, advice measures to avoid any triggers and prevent the flares. Thus, IBS-C treatment is a cumulative approach, incorporating a healthier lifestyle that infuses increased intake of water and fiber, regular exercises and managing stress levels along with the intake of medicines.

Drivers of IBS-C Drug Market

  • Increasingly prevailing diseases related to lifestyle choices
  • Expansion in healthcare spending expenditure
  • Medical science advancements
  • Increasing workspace stress levels
  • Psychological issues influencing IBS

An excessive intake of alcohol, caffeine and preference of unhealthy, untimely food commodities with reduced water intake, rising work pressure is slowly taking a serious toll on health (both physical and mental) and thereby, giving an opportunity for the drug market to expand.

Given the technological revolution in research and development and increased governmental funds for research, newer IBS-C drugs are being introduced in the market promising better results and quicker relief.

Geographical Segmentation of the IBS-C Drug Market

  • North America: IBS and Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC) are the most common of gastrointestinal issues faced by people in North America. These two conditions, as of 2014, had affected more than thirty million lives in the continent.
    North America leads the worldwide market for IBS-C drugs, owing hugely to advanced infrastructure in healthcare, early bid in the commercialization of the drugs in the United States, a better framework of medical policies and heightened alertness among both the physicians and the patients.
  • Europe: Thanks to a mixture of varied cultures and infrastructure related to healthcare, Europe holds a major share in the global market for IBS-C drugs after North America. Its share was valued at 445.7 million US dollars in 2014. Since the patient pool for IBS is greatest in the region, hence, demand for the options for treatments also automatically rising. In Europe, IBS prevails between 5 and 25%.
  • Asia-Pacific: Companies involved with R&D, marketing and distribution of IBS-C drugs in the countries of China and Japan, coupled with their huge population and thus, large and cheap workforce, promises abundant growth of the share of Asia-Pacific in the global IBS-C drug market.

The United States is not only leading the global market for the IBS-C drug but is also putting its resources to extensively work on making drugs that will not just only relieve the symptoms of irritation but do away for good, this persistent disease.

FDA Approved Medications

  • Lubiprostone: Also known as Amitiza, is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be rendered as a treatment drug for cases of ISB-C. This drug is said to stimulate the small intestine to increase its secretions. This added secretion softens stool and aids in its easy passage, reducing the risk of constipation.

However, it can only be administered to women above 18 years of age. It has some side effects, including diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting.

  • Linaclotide: Linzess, its commercial name, was approved in 2012 by the FDA for the treatment of both IBS-C and CIC. It works wonders by spurring recurrent bowel movements. Thus, the basic side effect is diarrhea.

Other Drug Types Include:

  • Osmotic Laxatives
  • Stimulant Laxatives
  • Miralax
  • Zelnorm (tegaserod)

Drugs and Measures Undergoing Validation for Treatment

  • Plecanatide
  • Bile Acid Modulators
  • Probiotics
  • Bacterial Treatments (targeted)
  • Fecal Transplants
  • Antidepressants aren’t typically administered for the treatment. However, due to soaring rates of depression amidst patients suffering from IBS-C and owing to the property of anti-pain of the antidepressants, it may be prescribed by a certified doctor.

With a number of companies entering the global drug market of IBS-C are Nestle, Novartis, Abbot Laboratories, Sucampo, Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Catalent Pharma Solutions and many more. It is simply expected of them to come up with a permanent fix soon rather than expecting consumers to depend on the consoling drugs continually. Increasing support from the government will strengthen the force and vigor on the R&D sector of the drug.

Till then, it is only advisable to keep proper doctor appointments to stay up to date with newer, improved medications.

Jay Karia

Author: Jay Karia

Digital Marketing Executive at Inkwood Research.

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